On November 3, 2016, during the first ever Global One Health day, the government of Uganda in collaboration with the U.S. Government officially launched a National One Health Platform to formalize collaboration among four key government sectors (the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Water and Environment and Uganda Wildlife Authority) in the implementation of the One Health Approach - a proactive, innovative strategy to prevent, detect and respond to existing and emerging pandemic threats.
The launch was presided over by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister who was represented by the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng. The occasion was also graced by the State Minister for Animal Industries, Hon. Joy Kabatsi, the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Deborah R. Malac and senior level government officials from collaborating ministries including; the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Water and Environment; Uganda Wildlife Authority and Office of the Prime Minister. Other key partners present included, USAID, CDC, Walter-Reed, FAO, WHO, P&R, OHCEA, PREDICT 2, AFENET, academic and professional associations.
In his speech, the Prime Minister stated “The launch of the platform marks a major milestone for the country in our efforts to meet our national and international obligations, regarding management of existing and emerging zoonotic diseases as well as other threats that require multisectoral approach such as antimicrobial resistance”. He pledged that Uganda government will continue to support the GHSA roadmap and will be the first African country to host the forthcoming GHSA Conference scheduled for September 2017.
In Ambassador Malac’s remarks, she said, “As one of the original signatory countries and an active participant in the Global Health Security Agenda, Uganda has done important work in protecting the health of not only Ugandans, but of people all over the world. With the One Health platform, Uganda will be able to better address the serious health challenges that can impact the stability and security of people across the globe”.
To ensure sustainability, the platform will be legally anchored within a government institution such as the National Institute for Public Health, which is being established. The launch of the platform, the signing of the institutional collaboration framework and the MOU between sectors, and the appointment of individuals to the OHTWG and ZDCO marks the completion of the initial process towards the establishment of a One Health platform.