FAO Malawi, USAID and Malawi Government launch initiative to strengthen Animal Health system, Prevent Zoonotic Diseases and combat antimicrobial resistance.
The Food and Agriculture Organization, through its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases program, marked a significant milestone with the launch of the “Enhancing Animal Health&One Health Capacities to Mitigate Zoonotic Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance Risks&Threats” project with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Malawi, and the Malawian Government.
The primary objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of Malawi’s Animal Health sector to prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats. The project will focus on four key areas:
- Developing a multisectoral workforce strategy based on the One Health approach to integrate animal health, human health, and environmental protection efforts.
- Strengthening surveillance and early warning systems for zoonotic diseases and AMR.
- Improving diagnostic capacity and laboratory services for zoonotic diseases and AMR.
- Building capacity for risk communication and community engagement to raise awareness of zoonotic diseases and AMR.
- The project will also support the development and implementation of national and regional One Health plans.
Improving Global Health Security
The launch event, attended by representatives from FAO Malawi, USAID Malawi, the Malawian Government and other key stakeholders, highlighted the collaborative nature of the initiative and the importance given to fostering collaboration between various sectors to address complex health challenges at the intersection of humans, animals, and the environment.
Mohammad Naeem, in representation of FAO Malawi, emphasized the project’s role in building robust Animal Health systems and promoting effective One Health collaboration. Julius Chulu, Director of Animal Health&Livestock Development, expressed the commitment to implementing the project in Malawi, highlighting the link between a healthy population and wealth creation. Representing USAID Malawi, Christina Lau, Director of the Health, Population and Nutrition Office, underscored the global importance of advancing health security. She highlighted that achieving this goal requires collaboration and cooperation among human, animal, and environmental partners.
The launch signals a crucial step towards building a resilient health system in Malawi that can effectively combat zoonotic diseases and the escalating challenge of antimicrobial resistance. Rooted in the principles of the One Health approach, the project aims to establish a sustainable and collaborative framework that will not only enhance the nation’s health security but also contribute to global efforts for a safer and healthier world.
As the project unfolds, it is anticipated that Malawi will see enhanced capacities, improved collaboration across sectors, and a more robust response to emerging health threats, aligning with the broader global efforts to ensure a safer and healthier world for all.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.