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In a continued effort to bolster public health and address pressing health challenges, stakeholders from diverse sectors gathered yesterday in Bo, Port Loko, Koinadugu, and Bombali districts to engage in the One Health approach. This initiative aims to prevent and control public health emergencies, including the growing concerns around drug and substance abuse.

The One Health approach emphasises the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. It seeks to foster collaboration among health, veterinary, and environmental professionals to create a comprehensive strategy for public health and safety. Yesterday's sessions focused on integrating these sectors to effectively address and mitigate public health risks.

One of the critical issues addressed was the rising incidence of drug and substance abuse, which poses significant health and social challenges. By leveraging the One Health approach, stakeholders aim to develop more robust prevention and intervention strategies. This includes enhancing community awareness, improving access to support services, and strengthening policy frameworks to curb this growing problem.

The momentum continues today as the One Health approach extends its reach to Kenema, Pujehun, Tonkolili, and Karene districts. Today's sessions focus on capacity building and fostering collaboration among professionals across the health, veterinary, and environmental sectors. By enhancing the skills and knowledge of stakeholders, the initiative aims to ensure a more coordinated and effective response to public health emergencies.

Capacity building is a cornerstone of the One Health initiative. By providing training and resources, the approach equips stakeholders with the tools needed to respond swiftly and effectively to public health threats. This includes developing early warning systems, improving disease surveillance, and fostering community engagement.

As the One Health approach continues to expand across Sierra Leone, the commitment to creating a healthier, safer future remains steadfast. The ongoing engagements highlight the importance of multi-sector collaboration and the need for a unified response to public health challenges. By working together, stakeholders can ensure a resilient and proactive public health system capable of addressing current and emerging threats.

About One Health:

The One Health approach is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary strategy that aims to achieve optimal health outcomes by recognising the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. This approach is vital for preventing and managing public health emergencies, ensuring sustainable health systems, and promoting global health security. It emphasises the importance of One Health collaboration and interdisciplinary cooperation in addressing complex health challenges.