Kenya: Investing in One Health for people, animals, plants and the environment

Kenya: Investing in One Health for people, animals, plants and the environment

Kenya: Investing in One Health for people, animals, plants and the environment

Kenya: Investing in One Health for people, animals, plants and the environment

On the 29 and 30 August, 2023, in Machakos, Kenya, over 50 cross-sectoral and multistakeholder participants including government, civil society, the private sector and international partners  met to prioritize national investments in One Health.

During the workshop, a set of priority One Health investment cases were drawn up based on prior analysis of the country’s key evaluations. National strategies were reviewed, including the new One Health Strategy and the Kenya national food systems transformation pathway. Inspiration was also drawn from the Quadripartite One Health Joint Plan of Action.  

Participants discussed, prioritized and developed a series of six investment cases, including topics from integrated surveillance, food safety, One Health training and capacity development, laboratories and infrastructure for One Health, One Health technology and innovation, and research and data for One Health. 

Discussions took place on how to adapt and leverage these priorities against real investment opportunities. The role of the government was emphasised in terms of championing and self-investing first, to attract broader domestic, private sector and international investment to strengthen a One Health approach at national and decentralized levels.

What are the next steps?

Next steps will involve finalising each investment case into a portfolio for outreach and using this as a tool for working group members to champion interest and investment from a variety of sources and potential partners, culminating in a national investment forum towards the end of the year. The portfolio will consist of concepts profiling each of the investment cases, alongside clear costing and a return on investment demonstrating the value of the investment.  

Immediate opportunities on the horizon, include government budget cycles, Multilateral Development Banks, international funds (such as the Pandemic Fund), as well as engaging bilateral partners and attracting the private sector into key value chains.

It is important to mainstream One Health approaches into livestock, agriculture, and environment portfolios. For example, in livestock master plans, mainstreaming into operations, value addition in terms of food safety and reducing food loss and waste, sustainable feedstock, commercial production and sustainable feeding hubs, enhancing sustainable livestock sustainability, and scaling up climate smart and digital agriculture”.  Said Joel Onyango Khobondo, Livestock development expert, World Bank Group

The aim of this initiative is to leverage greater investment in national One Health opportunities and delivery together with the government and key actors. The benefits of these investments will be wide-ranging, and will specifically focus on improved food safety, prevention of zoonoses and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), as well as enhancing One Health workforce capacities and infrastructure.

The One Health approach aims to safeguard the health of humans, animals, plants, and the environment by improving national prevention, preparedness, and response measures to avert health crises and future pandemics. It promotes a holistic approach, aiming to promote and maintain a healthy environment for humans, animals and plants, thinking beyond infectious diseases.  

The workshop was supported by the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, and was organised by the Quadripartite collaboration (FAO, UNEP, WHO and WOAH), together with Kenya’s One Health Platform and the Zoonotic Diseases Unit (ZDU).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).