December 16 was marked as the 6th annual One Health Day in Ethiopia with a different series of events including keynote remarks from higher officials, panel discussions, and the release of message guides. The theme of the event was ‘’Towards a Better Health for Humans, Animals, and the Ecosystem’’. Representatives from national and regional governments, nongovernmental One Health actors from across the country, and UN agency representatives attended the event.
The event was officially opened by Dr. Mesay Hailu, Director General of EPHI(MOH). All the speakers addressed giving priority and attention to working together “which is not a choice but a must” for successful coordination, collaboration, communication, and implementation of One Health.
A half-day event provided an opportunity to advocate for the One Health approach to preventing, detecting, and responding to emerging and re-emerging public health threats. Higher officials and representatives from partner organizations reaffirmed their commitment to providing the support needed to strengthen the country’s One Health approach. The HEAL project effectively leverages senior officials’ support for the OH approach advocacy, not only as participants but also as technical committee members throughout the entire preparation process.
A vote of thanks was also granted to all technical and financial contributors, including VSF-Suisse through the HEAL project. As a member of the NOHSC and the event organizing committee, HEAL contributed to the presentation of a 10-minute “One Health Day Song.” HEAL donor and partner logos were included at all visibility levels, including banners.
As a next step, better prepare to hold GOHD on the exact date set (every third of November) and provide technical assistance to regions in mobilizing local resources to hold such events on their own.