OAU inaugurates multisector health group to boost research on human-animal diseases

OAU inaugurates multisector health group to boost research on human-animal diseases

By Diana Omueza

The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has inaugurated a “One Health” team at its College of Health Sciences to boost research, particularly on emerging infectious diseases originating at the human-animal-environment.

Provost of the College of Health Sciences, OAU, Prof. Babatope Kolawole, made this known in a statement by Prof. A Onipede, the Media Chair.

Kolawole said that the health team was a collaborative, multisectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach aimed at working at local, national and global levels.

According to him, the team is to achieve optimal health and well-being outcomes, by recognising the interconnections between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

“It can also be viewed as an approach towards designing, signing, and implementing programmes, policies, legislations, and research in a systematic and integrative manner for optimal health outcomes.

“Globally, the threat of infectious diseases, particularly emerging infectious diseases, originating at the human-animal-environment interface has caught health systems off guard.

“The emergence and re-emergence of diseases such as Lassa fever, Avian influenza, Ebola and Corona virus diseases, which threatened socio-economic disruption, have heightened the need for inter-sectoral coordination/collaboration,” he said.

He said there was also the need to support national and local multi-sectoral emergency preparedness against such disease that leads to an endemic.

The Provost also said that health team initiative was for the first time, promoting interactions among researchers in the college of health sciences, as well as in the faculties of agriculture, pharmacy and science.

He said this would help to foster integrative and systems’ thinking in the global team research and development agenda for the benefits of humanity, animals, environment and the ecosystem as a whole.

“The primary aim of the team is to provide research-based evidence to drive the implementation of the 2019-2023 National One Health Strategic Plan.

“Also another major aim is to connect with global stakeholders and institutions driving the one health agenda.

“Already, links have been established with the Institute for Translational and Emerging Research in Advanced Comparative Therapy (INTERACT), Oklahoma State University, U.S., as well as the Humanimal Trust, United Kingdom.

“The efforts in this direction is to work with the Oklahoma State University to implement a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),” he said.

According to him, the MoU promises to strengthen capacities for the course integration of the different disciplines and cadre of manpower development engaged in all the interfaces of health at the university.

Kolawole added that the impact of the MoU would also enhance the capacity of the health team to lead cutting edge research on pathogen genomics and molecular diagnostics.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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