Govt launches national health strategy

Calle Schlettwein

A collaboration between three ministries aims to address health risks across human, animal, plant and environmental health sectors.

Minister of agriculture, water and land reform Calle Schlettwein this week announced the launch of the Tripartite One Health National Strategy for 2024 to 2028.

This took place at a ceremony in collaboration with minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula, and the deputy minister of environment, forestry and tourism, Heather Sibungo.

This multisectoral approach recognises the interconnection of these areas and promotes collaboration to tackle health challenges more effectively, Schlettwein said.

“The main threats to humankind have always been the distinct possibility of famine, disease and war,” he said.

Schlettwein said the growing threats of pandemics, climate change and food insecurity all require a unified approach.
The One Health Strategy will focus on areas like diseases transmitted between animals and humans, antimicrobial resistance and food safety.

The strategy will be implemented at community, subnational, national, regional and global levels, the minister said.

The World Organisation for Animal Health will bring its expertise for animal health and welfare to the partnership to support its member countries like Namibia, he said.

This will enable our country to develop a national strategy to tackle major diseases or broader health threats.

“The Covid-19 pandemic, a human public health crisis resulting from a virus of potential animal origin, demonstrated the validity of the usefulness of the One Health concept in addressing and confronting national and global health risks,” he said.

The minister also emphasised the need for political will and adequate funding to make the strategy a reality.

He said he believes this initiative would create a healthier future for humans, animals and the environment, leading to a safer and more prosperous Namibia.

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