Bridging human and animal health specialists

World Health Organization and World Organization for Animal Health are bridging human and animal health specialists in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for strengthening prevention, detection and control of diseases among animals and humans.

As sixty percent of human diseases originated in animals and three quarters of recent emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, cooperation between human and animal health specialists is crucial. The areas of work in which the liaison between human and animal sectors is also very important include food safety and security, and combatting antibiotic resistance.

A three-day National Bridging Workshop (NBW) gathered experts from various departments of Ministries of Health and Family Welfare and Fisheries and Livestock to review the current collaboration gaps and to identify solutions to overcome them.

Participants also got familiarised with tools used by the two sectors- International Health Regulations, Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, Joint External Evaluation or Performance of Veterinary Services. This enabled the experts from human and animal health to better understand areas of convergences from their work, to understand the extent of their shared approaches, references and strategic views.

Under guidance of WHO and OIE international facilitators, participants developed a joint road map of corrective measures and strategic actions to improve the work between the two sectors, both in regular times, as well as during outbreaks of diseases related to animals.

The NBW is a joint WHO and OIE initiative under One Health strategic concept, in which multiple sectors communicate and work together through designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research to achieve better public health outcomes.