One Health gains momentum in Africa but room exists for improvement
The degree of ‘One-Healthiness’ of a system relates to the effectiveness of an institution to operate within the six main dimensions which identify to what extent it complies with One Health concept. A new review paper published in the journal One Health evaluates institutional compliance with One Health concept in 14 institutions from eight African countries.
The study used the adapted Network for the Evaluation of One Health tool. Semi-quantitative evaluation of the institutions’ competencies was carried out in six dimensions of One Health operations and infrastructure:
- systems thinking
- transdisciplinary working
- systemic organization
The study revealed that although all aspects of One Health scored above average, systemic organization and working in One Health were the strongest areas where tremendous gains had been made across the evaluated countries.
The aspects of planning, sharing, learning and thinking should be optimized to achieve gains emanating from One Health approaches in Africa. Cultural and social balance, and integrated health approach were the strongest areas under working and thinking, respectively.
The authors of the study conclude that although One Health has gained momentum in Africa, there is still room for improvement. The revealed strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and gaps in One Health implementation provide an opportunity to prioritize and refocus efforts and resources to strengthen the identified weak areas.