File photo: Egypt s Minister of Health Khaled Abdelghaffar during the launch of One Health National Strategic Framework
The framework is a joint roadmap between the Egyptian ministries of health, agriculture, and environment, in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The framework was launched during a high-level event held in the presence of a number of representatives of ministries, national agencies, UN organisations, and embassies.
Activating the One Health Approach has become an urgent necessity at all national, regional, and global levels in order to ensure the provision of a healthy, safe, and dignified life for people and preserve the health of animals and the environment, said Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar during the event.
The global One Health Joint Plan of Action, a five-year plan (2022-2026) developed in partnership with FAO, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), was launched by WHO last year.
This approach is particularly important in preventing, predicting, detecting, and responding to global health threats like the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also crucial for ensuring food and water safety, nutrition, and controlling zoonotic diseases like flu, rabies, and Rift Valley fever.
Around 60 percent of emerging infectious diseases globally are zoonotic, as estimated by WHO.
According to the World Bank, preventing epidemics through the one health principle costs $11.5 billion annually, which is significantly lower than the cost of responding to epidemics, which amounts to around $30 billion per year.