A key task platforms undertake is developing a One Health strategic plan that outlines potential emerging disease threats the country faces and priority actions to be taken. Many platforms conduct a formal zoonotic disease prioritization exercise. Other activities include coordinating or contributing to GHSA Roadmaps and JEEs; developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) or guidelines for priority diseases; developing or updating preparedness and response plans; conducting simulations of plans; regularly reviewing surveillance data; coordinating responses to outbreaks; and conducting after-action reviews of outbreak responses. P&R works with platforms to build capacity to implement these tasks with additional support provided by other USG agencies such as CDC as well as U.N. and other multilateral partners.
Many countries have brought different sectors together to coordinate responses to a specific disease outbreak or other crisis, but typically the structures created are temporary and usually become inactive once that crisis is over. P&R is helping build platforms that strengthen not only outbreak response, but prevention and detection as well. In addition, they are intended to be sustained over time, with clear institutional mandates and roles and commitments of human and financial resources from partners.
One Health platforms draw on foundational documents such as a national health strategy, a One Health strategy, and a GHSA roadmap to implement their priorities. In some cases, P&R works with the platform to build capacity to implement, while with other actions platforms are supported by USAID, USG, UN, and other multilateral partners.
In coordination with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other US government and Global Health Security Agenda partners, P&R has mobilized platforms in Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Rwanda, and Uganda to organize multisectoral tabletop simulation exercises or conduct zoonotic disease prioritization. These efforts support the sharing of institutional and technical protocol and tools for disease surveillance, reporting, and outbreak response, and encourage ongoing collaboration. P&R has supported platforms in Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, and Bangladesh to incorporate public health threats beyond emerging infectious disease, like antimicrobial resistance, into preparedness planning.
One Health platforms are well placed to contribute to integrated disease surveillance and response by convening regular meetings to share and review surveillance data across sectors, providing relevant information on the One Health approach, and facilitating multisectoral coordination. In Liberia, the nascent platform supported revisions to the country’s technical guidelines so that animal diseases and die-offs are recognized as public health issues.
One Health platforms in Cameroon and Sierra Leone, with the support of P&R, CDC, and other EPT-2 partners, have been working with emergency operations centers in their countries to identify areas of multisectoral collaboration for preparedness and response. During several outbreaks of avian flu over the past two years, governments in Uganda, Cameroon, and Bangladesh were able to launch a rapid and effective multisectoral response by turning to their recently established One Health platforms for leadership and coordination.
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