Egypt’s Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar launched on Sunday the “One Health National Strategic Framework 2023-2027” as a joint roadmap for One Health between the Ministries of Health and Population, Agriculture and Land Reclamation, and Environment, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Egypt and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Egypt.
The Ministries of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Local Development participated in preparing the document, in addition to the Egyptian Medicines Authority and the National Food Safety Authority.
According to the Health Ministry, the One Health approach recognizes the close connection between human, animal and environmental health, and aims for joint action between these sectors to achieve better health outcomes that can effectively contribute to preventing, predicting and responding to global health threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abdel Ghaffar said that activating the “One Health Approach” has become an urgent necessity at all national, regional and global levels, in order to ensure the provision of a healthy, safe and dignified life for humans, along with preserving the health of animals and the environment. He added that Egypt has endeavoured to provide all means and mechanisms of support to help push towards activating the concept of one health, during the COP27.
He pointed out that the health system or other individual systems cannot alone deal with epidemics and health pandemics, appreciating the participatory plans among all concerned partners, to join together to activate the concept of one health, stressing the need to continue the participatory efforts to preserve this national achievement and ensure the provision of a healthy life. inclusive of all peoples of the world.
Minister of Agriculture ElSayed ElKosayer, said that his ministry is working to prevent emerging animal diseases from entering Egypt through the early warning system and epidemiological surveys.
The World Health Organization estimates that around 60% of emerging infectious diseases reported globally are zoonotic.
For her part, the representative of the WHO in Egypt, Naima Al-Qaseer, said: “The One Health approach is necessary to prevent disease outbreaks and health emergencies, and therefore it was included as a basic principle in the International Convention on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response, which the member states of the WHO agreed to draft to maintain global health security.
The World Bank estimates that the costs of preventing epidemics, following the One Health principle, amount to $11.5 billion per year, which makes it significantly less expensive than the cost of responding to epidemics, which is about $30 billion per year.