Ms Ruth Arthur, Head Disease Epidemic Department of the National Disaster Management Organisation, (NADMO) has reminded Ghanaians of their constitutional duties to protect the environment.
She pointed out that Article 41 of the 1992 Constitution believed in the sanctity of the environment, and peaceful coexistence between man and nature to safeguard the livelihoods of present and future generations.
Ms Arthur has therefore entreated Ghanaians to promote responsible consumption, the right interface between humans, animals and the environment, the need for more green activities and alternative industries that do not harm the environment and human existence adding, “protecting one is protecting all.”
The NADMO officer said this at the International One Health Day marked in Takoradi, under the theme: “Protecting One Health for Total Well-Being and Sustainable Development.”
The One Health project linked all levels of academicians, government, industry, policy, and research due to the interconnect of animals, the environment, humans, plants, and planet Health to achieve healthy people, animals, and the environment.
It thus has a collaborative approach and efforts between selected ministries, and development partners and coordinated by the NADMO to strengthen systems to prevent, prepare, detect, respond to and recover from infectious diseases that threatened human, animal, and environmental health.
Research has it that by 2050, the world population might grow from seven billion to nine billion.
Meanwhile, 75 percent of all emerging human infectious diseases originated in animals hence the need for a comprehensive inter agency approach to provide adequate healthcare.
Dr Dennis Laryea, Deputy Director, of Surveillance at the Ghana Health Service said the current trend of emerging zoonotic diseases in Ghana including monkeypox, human and animal rabies and COVID-19 was a critical call to work closely to stem such potential threats in the bud in the future.
“As a country, we stand solely to gain from a stronger and more harmonized collaboration as one health and most importantly when we all play our roles very actively and effectively”.
Dr. Laryea said One Health had therefore presented a fantastic opportunity for all partners and players to move away from organizational siloes to synergize resources and skills to enhance One Health …” which is also in line with our vision and mission”.
Dr Argala Gujo, Country Preparedness officer for emergency preparedness of the World Health Organisation, mentioned a joint action plan to achieve more and consolidate the gains in the next five years.
Dr Ahmed Garbo, Country Lead, of the Emergency Centre of Transboundary Animal Disease of the FAO said when effectively implemented, it would advance food security in the country.
Professor William Kwabena Ampofo, One of the Finest Brains in Promoting One Health said COVID-19 was a clear example of how one’s health needed to be taken and looked at holistically and supported by all.
“This is our best tool, to approach disasters, whether they are infectious disease or their chemical disasters, or the floods or earthquakes or whatever.”
Professor Ampofo noted the need for all to promote one’s health…if we look after the environment if we look after the health of animals if we are more careful about the environment that will be providing better health.”