OHCEA Holds first Funders Conference in Nairobi Kenya

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 - 5:40am
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Participants : OHCEA Holds first Funders Conference in Nairobi Kenya

On 28th May, 2014, OHCEA held its first funders conference in Nairobi, Kenya. OHCEA leadership, OHCEA staff, programme coordinators of the One Health innovative programmes, beneficiary student representatives together with OHCEA partners-Tufts University and University of Minnesota (UMN), held an interactive session with 9 development partners .These are: The Rockefeller Foundation, German Society for International Corporation (GIZ), Department for International Development (DFID), Welcome Trust (Represented by DFID), International Development Research Center (IDRC), Embassy of Sweden, Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Veterinaires Sans Frontieres (VSF) – (Belgium), and United State Agency for Interna- tional Development Emerging Pandemic Threats Programme (USAID-EPT).

From Left Julia Kemp (DFID & Wellcome Trust), Prof. Charles Mulei, Dr. Berihu Gabrikidan, Dr. Awash Degefu and Prof. John Baptist Kakoma

The meeting was characterized by beneficiary testimonies and sharing of experi- ences from OHCEA in its implementation of some of its programmes and activities. OHCEA has been successful in building a network from scratch in the midst of insti- tutional and multi-country contexts, establishing a link between governments and educational institutions, building a new kind of public health professional, offering In-service training, and facilitating the development of innovative experiential field based programmes.

OHCEA anticipates that by 2025, the network will have contributed to the develop- ment and growth of effective and efficient One Health platform(s), provided lead- ership in driving the One Health agenda in ways that transform health systems in Africa and the well-being of its people; Transformed research, policy, training and service systems impacting lives and ultimately improving livelihoods and food secu- rity and contributed to an increase in scientifically grounded One Health knowledge that contributes to global health system improvement.

Assoc. Prof. Willam Bazeyo (Chairman of hte Summit) & Prof. Philemon Wambura (Chairman of OHCEA Board of Directors)A key highlight of this meeting was the interactive session between OHCEA and the development partners, where synergies and possible areas of collaboration were discussed. Ms.Mwihakikimura Muraguri, the Associate Director for Health from the Rockefeller Foundation made remarks on behalf of all the development partners. She was excited about the increased interest and progress in the pro- motion on the One Health approach.

“This is a wonderful time for an idea whose time has come.”

She was particularly impressed about the work and approach that institutions were taking to work together innovatively and collaboratively in producing the next generation of One Health practitioners, in the midst of an environment characterized by shrinking resources. She was also encouraged to discover that universities were shifting from their traditional pursuit of academic research and publication alone, to research innovation and patenting.

“The men- tality of academic institutions is changing from “Publish or Perish” to “Patent or Perish.”

Prof. Saul Tzipori & Prof. Deborah Kochevar (Tufts University).

The OHCEA network will continue to work strategically and collaboratively with its development partners to explore innovative cost effective approaches that will be utilized to promote the One Health approach, in order to develop a new generation of One Health practitioners, who will invariably address present and future global health challenges within the region.