MoHAP organises workshop on identifying zoonotic diseases

DUBAI, 18th January, 2023 (WAM) -- The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), in partnership with the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, organised a training workshop to discuss the mechanism for identifying priority zoonotic diseases using the "One Health" approach, which is an effective tool for jointly assessing the risks of these diseases.

The workshop, which targeted healthcare, environmental health, and animal health sector workers, focused on "One Health" as an approach that requires collaboration between multiple sectors to combat zoonotic diseases.

It also discussed how best to achieve optimal health for humans and animals, in addition to preserving the environment, by identifying and evaluating the risks related to these diseases to reduce their impact and combat them.

The event comes in line with the ministry’s ongoing efforts to address diseases and pandemics, strengthen community health, and improve the efficiency of the health system.

Dr. Fatima Al Attar, Director of the International Health Regulations Office; Fatima Hussein, Director of the Epidemiology and Surveillance Department; and Nada Hassan Al Marzouqi, Director of Public Health, and Prevention Department, MoHAP, attended the meeting and workshop, which were held at the ministry's headquarters.

During the event, participants were introduced to the practical steps to be taken in the process of identifying priority zoonotic diseases, including the mechanisms for assessing the risks of these diseases, methods for their prevention and control, and guidelines for collective action in this regard.

The workshop emphasised the significance of identifying and assessing priority zoonotic diseases using the One Health approach. This approach involves collaboration among experts in human health, animal health, and environmental protection to effectively control and reduce the impact of these diseases. The data and technical knowledge obtained through this process can be used to develop plans to address zoonotic diseases.

Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector, emphasised that the training workshop was organised to support the Ministry's integrated efforts aimed at establishing a methodology that enhances the capabilities of workers in the healthcare, environmental health, and animal health sectors to work collectively to prevent health threats associated with zoonotic diseases.

"Identifying and evaluating priority zoonotic diseases is very important to reduce their impact and control them effectively. This requires coordination and cooperation between all parties involved in human, animal, and environmental health," Al Rand said, adding that effective communication and the sharing of information between authorities are crucial in preparing for the potential risks posed by these diseases.

For her part, Fatima Hussein said that training stakeholders on this process and incorporating it into the national health system is necessary for efficiently identifying zoonotic diseases and developing national plans for preparedness, surveillance, and response to health threats.

"One Health" is a health approach that recognises the interdependence between human, animal, and environmental health. It emphasises the importance of considering the connections between these three areas to effectively address public health issues.

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