One Health Liberia hosts workshop for RCCE

Liberia Hosts Regional RCCE Workshop to Develop a Database of Gender-sensitive Key Messages Based on the One Health Approach

Monrovia, October 31, 2023: A four-day regional workshop for Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) experts kicked off today at the Sinkor Palace Hotel in Monrovia. The workshop aims to develop a database of gender-sensitive key message cards and communication tools based on the One Health approach.

The initiative is designed to strengthen community confidence in health response teams by promoting unified messaging and coordinated community engagement before, during, and after public health events, in line with the “One Health” initiative.

The One Health approach is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and ecosystems. It recognizes that the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhemina S. Jallah, emphasized the importance of speaking with one voice to foster community trust and facilitate effective engagement.

Experts from various fields are gathered to collaborate and enhance the communication strategies vital for public health responses. The workshop promises to be a significant step towards building resilient and well-informed communities in the face of health challenges.

Organized by the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO), the workshop has drawn distinguished representatives from the 15 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states, WAHO, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), and the Regional Animal Health Center (RAHC).

Liberia embraced the One Health concept in 2016 – recognizing that investment in One Health will promote efficient alignment of limited human, financial and logistical resources. The initiative was later launched in 2017 with a “Declaration of Commitment” signed by core line ministries and agencies, and further endorsed by former Vice President, H.E. Joseph N. Boakai. In 2018, the One Health Governance Manual was launched – defining the roles and responsibilities of the Steering Committee, the Technical Committee, the Technical Working Groups (TWGs), and the Coordinating Body. The Governance Manual was later revised in 2021 with six (6) Technical Working Groups, including Risk Communication and Community Engagement, Surveillance, Laboratory, Antimicrobial Resistance, Emergency Preparedness and Response, and Workforce.

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