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Pillars for successful operationalization of one health as an ecosystem approach: experience from a human-animal interface in the Maasai steppe in Tanzania

By P. Gwakisa, J. George, C. Sindato, A. Ngonyoka, H. Nnko, J. Assenga, S. Kimera, M. O. Nessele

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Abstract

Background: Solving complex public health challenges requires integrated approaches to health, such as One Health. A key element of the One Health approach is the interrelationship between human, animal and environmental health and the associated multistakeholder collaboration across many cultural, disciplinary, institutional and sectoral boundaries. Here we describe a pragmatic approach for One Health operationalisation basing on our long-term engagement with communities faced with health challenges in a human-livestock-wildlife interface in the Maasai steppe in northern Tanzania. Methods: Using a qualitative study design we performed an outcome mapping to document insights on results integration from our previous project. Data were collected through participatory community meetings, in-depth interviews and field observations. Field notes were coded and analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: We found that effective implementation of One Health interventions in complex ecosystems works best by understanding local conditions and their context and by working closely with the local people and relevant disciplinary players as one complex adaptive system. Community engagement, systems analysis, transdisciplinarity as well as political commitment played critical roles in successful operationalization of One Health. We have further emphasized that project ownership is as important to the local community as it is to the researchers. When used in combination, these elements (community engagement, systems analysis, transdisciplinarity) provide essential pillars for co-creation and maintaining collective action to set a common vision across disciplines, serving as inputs for a metrics-based toolbox for One Health operationalisation. Conclusion: Considering the novelty and complexity of One Health operationalisation, there is need also to develop scorecard-based guidance for assessment of One Health programs at local and national level. This paper proposes a framework for the optimization of an ecosystems-based One Health approach for prevention and control of VectorBorne Diseases implemented at the local, sub-national or national level.

Publication Title One Health Outlook
Volume 5
Issue 11
Pages (30-August 2023)
ISBN/ISSN 2524-4655
DOI 10.1186/s42522-023-00087-0
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. ACP Countries
  2. Africa
  3. Animals
  4. Anthrozoology
  5. Commonwealth of Nations
  6. Communities
  7. Diseases
  8. Domestic animals
  9. Environment
  10. Health
  11. Health services
  12. Human ecology
  13. Humans
  14. Least developed countries
  15. Livestock
  16. Mammals
  17. Men
  18. open access
  19. politics
  20. Primates
  21. Public health
  22. SADC Countries
  23. vertebrates
  24. wildlife
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  1. open access