At a gathering held in Dessalegn Hotel attended by dignitaries from government, the diplomatic core and activists, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced the establishment of a National One Health Communications Network in Ethiopia.
Funded by USAID, the network is said to help complement the Ethiopian government’s effort in supporting public health in the country. Largely, FAO has been on a drive to end world hunger which remains a widespread concern within Ethiopia.
“FAO is known for supporting sustainable development of the agriculture sector world-wide and for leading international efforts towards a world free of hunger and malnutrition,” said Fatouma Seid, FAO representative to Ethiopia. “FAO has integrated One Health into its organizational culture whereby technical experts from multiple sectors including agriculture, natural resource management, emergency response, economic and social development work collaboratively across sectors to achieve the 5 FAO strategic objectives and contribute to the achieving of the 17 sustainable development goals”.
The five objective of the institution include the elimination of hunger, food security and malnutrition, make agriculture, forestry and fisheries proactive, reduce rural poverty, enable efficient agriculture systems and increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises.
Among the list of attendees were Negeri Lencho (PhD), Head of Government Communication Affairs Office, Kumara Wakjira, the General Director of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, Ebba Ababa (MD), the Ethiopian Public Health Institute Director General and State Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Misrak Mekonnen (PhD), cementing the importance Ethiopia puts on the new network.
“What is equally important now is immediate joint coordinated action to promote the One Health efforts in the nation and meet the information needs of all One Health partners and the public,” the minister said. “Specifically, information should be shared among different technical sectors adequately and the public should be educated about the various one health issues. Hence, our discussions today will be a valuable start”.