UN agencies call for coordinated approach to tackle emerging health threats

  28 March 2023    Read: 528
UN agencies call for coordinated approach to tackle emerging health threats

The growing threat to public health security linked to climate change, antimicrobial resistance, biodiversity loss, the emergence of lethal pathogens and food contamination calls for a joint response from governments, multilateral and research institutions, UN agencies said in a joint statement released in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, on Monday.

The new call for joint action to avert a public health crisis in the future was made by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) dubbed Quadripartite.

Charged with implementing a One Health strategy to secure a safer, healthier and greener future for humanity, the Quadripartite stressed that better multi-sectoral coordination will be key to tackling the climate crisis, ecosystem depletion and spread of superbugs.

Through the joint statement, the leaders of the four UN agencies said political goodwill, increased funding and policy support will be crucial to realizing the objectives of the One Health strategy.

"To build one healthier planet we need urgent action to galvanize vital political commitments, greater investment and multisectoral collaboration at every level," said the statement.

Creation of resilient health systems in the face of recent global health emergencies like COVID-19, Ebola, Mpox and Marburg virus reaffirms the need for joint collaboration among state agencies, industry, donors and researchers, the statement said.

In addition, the Quadripartite, which is assisting national governments to implement the One Health strategy, called for the creation of a fund to support pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

The establishment of a highly skilled, motivated and well-enumerated workforce will also be key to detecting, averting, or managing health risks effectively, Quadripartite said in the statement, adding that educating communities should inform future efforts to strengthen public health security.

Promoting scientific research, technology transfer, information and data sharing, combined with robust financing will be key to hastening the implementation of a One Health strategy, and boosting the health of communities and ecosystems, said the statement.

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