Experts Synthesize National Workforce Needs using the One Health System Analysis and Mapping Resource Toolkit

Tuesday, 5 December 2017 - 12:39pm

One Health Workforce together with One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA), Makerere University School of Public Health and College of Veterinary medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity organised a Multi-sectoral collaborative workshop to synthesize National Workforce needs using the One Health System Analysis and Resource Tool Kit (OH-Smart Tool).

The workshop that ran from 22nd -24th August 2017 at Imperial Beach Botanical Hotel in Entebbe brought together Researchers, academicians, and experts in analysing cross sectoral workforce needs for prevention, detection and response to infectious diseases from different Government and private sectors.

Sponsored by United States Agency for International Development, Emerging Pandemic Threats Program (USAID EPT2), through the One Health Workforce project, the workshop focused on familiarizing participants with the existing national workforce needs as well as initiating the usage of OH-SMART process to map existing multi-agency.

 According to the Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health who is also the Principal Investigator, One Health Central and Eastern Africa, Professor William Bazeyo, the three days’ workshop also aimed at teaching participants how to utilize the existing workforce needs and OH-SMART identified operation to prioritize sector-specific, cross-sectoral and institutional workforce challenges.

Professor Bazeyo mentioned that the workshop also provided knowledge to participants on how to develop action plans geared towards improving multi-agency and cross-sectoral collaborations during prioritized zoonotic disease outbreaks at national level.

“With the help of the One Health Workforce Project, we shall be able to support member Universities to understand and incorporate the One Health approach into their training, research and outreach programs. We also want to identify the technical and cross-sectoral health workforce training gaps and needs as defined by the relevant government ministries and sectors,” said Prof. Bazeyo.

“We want to also use the knowledge gained from this workshop and incorporate it into a national health workforce needs report, provide recommendations for university supported and other capacity building efforts,” he added.

The Multi-sectoral collaborative workshop was officially opened by the Assistant Commissioner of National Disease Control at Ministry of Health Dr. Allan Muruta on behalf of the Commissioner, Dr. Patrick Tusiime.

 In a speech read by Dr. Allan Muruta, the Commissioner of National Disease Control at Ministry of Health encouraged government agencies, international organisations, private sectors, and academicians to support capacity building activities that are directed to tackling emerging and re-emerging health challenges. To him, this will enable them meet the Global

Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and International Health Regulations (2005) requirements of which Uganda is a signatory.

According to the Commissioner, there is a need for collective responsibility of making the multi-sectoral collaborative approach work in order to secure the wealth and health of the people both at national and global levels.

“As we strengthen our efforts to ensure global health security for the benefit of our people and global community, the outcome of this workshop should lay a firm foundation to plan for workforce development to which our universities and training institutions should contribute,” said the Commissioner.

He thanked Professor William Bazeyo and the Principal of College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity Prof. David Kabasa for the tremendous work they have done in shaping the project future wholesome workforce that has in return helped them strengthen the health systems at national and Sub-National levels.

In the same spirit the Commissioner also applauded the Nation One Health Platform for laying a foundation that has made multi-sectoral Collaborations between the line ministries a reality in Uganda.

“We should all remember that human health is interconnecting with the health of animals and environment therefore the National One Health team has committed itself to coordinating all the efforts to drive the One Health Approach with the ultimate goal of achieving health for the people, animal and environment,” he said.

In a presentation he made on the topic; ‘wholesome workforce’, the Principal of College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity Prof. David Kabasa emphasized the need to balance the norms and needs if societies are to realize one health in community.

Prof. Kabasa urged participants to embrace the wholesome workforce approach and implement its fruitful results in the community through trainings and sensitization means. “Communities should be given capacity to manage and maintain a wholesome life starting from primary level in an organised manner,” he mentioned.

During the workshop, participants were taken through the use of the One Health Systems Mapping and Analysis Resource Toolkit (OH-SMART) by Dr. Hiedi Vesterinen and Dr. Katelyn Macy.

According to Dr. Hiedi Vesterinen One Health Systems Mapping and Analysis Resource Toolkit (OH-SMART) is an interactive process mapping tool co-developed by University of Minnesota (UMN) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It serves as a standardized method to analyze and facilitate improvements to the system of communication and coordination among and between disciplines and sectors as they address complex One Health issues.

“It is an interactive process that fosters working across organizational and disciplinary lines when preparing or responding to disease outbreaks or addressing other complex One Health challenges,” said Dr. Vesterinen.

The workshop was attended by key actors from different Government Ministries such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), Ministry of Education and Sports (MES) and Uganda Wild life Authority (UWA). The international organisations that attended the workshop also included; US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organisation (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), representatives from the private sector and academia.