The Ohio State University

Global One Health initiative: Integrated Capacity Building to Prevent Pandemics

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Project Summary

Pandemics are a looming global threat. Over two-thirds of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are zoonotic in origin, causing an estimated 2.5 billion human illnesses annually. Further exacerbating the EID burden, multi-drug resistance has reached global crisis levels, and is expected to kill more than 10 million people (40% in Africa alone) by 2050. Capacity to mitigate these threats remains highly insufficient in many African countries despite high population density and growing fertility rates. Our Global One Health solution empowers communities through integrated systems capacity building. Targeting Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, home to 225 million people, we will focus on high-risk pastoral communities, who depend heavily on livestock and wildlife for their livelihood. We will expand our proven integrated solution using a three-pronged approach: (1) providing short- and long-term workforce capacity training; (2) strengthening surveillance infrastructure (field-deployable systems and laboratories); and (3) building community awareness through targeted interventions.

Problem Statement

The Global Risk Forum prioritized global threats that have a high likelihood to adversely impact the planet in the near future. Emerging and re-emerging infectious disease (EID)-related pandemics (e.g. Ebola, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza [HPAI], Rift Valley Fever) are among the most critical issues facing our global community today. More than two-thirds of EIDs are zoonotic, causing over 2.5 billion human illnesses annually. The social and economic burden of EIDs is tremendous. The cumulative cost of HPAI alone has surpassed $3 trillion USD. Widespread disease intensity is also caused by multi-drug resistance, which contributes to an increased global burden. Worldwide fatalities due to resistance are estimated to be 700,000. Malaria cases increased by 2 million globally between 2016 and 2017 due to drug-resistance. CDC reported less than 20% of countries globally are sufficiently prepared to prevent EIDs. Eastern Africa is a known hotspot for EIDs. More than 40% of the African population is under the age of 15, resulting in a disproportionate impact on children. Day-to-day survival of the resource-limited pastoralist communities (>20 million in Tanzania alone) depends on animals. A lack of training and education, skilled workforces, surveillance infrastructure, and community awareness make these communities extremely vulnerable. High population density and growth magnifies the need for a solution. Our project targets: Ethiopia (2nd highest African population with 110 million people), Tanzania (5th with 61 million people), and Kenya (7th with 52 million people). The region needs high-impact capacity building/strengthening that aims to prevent and mitigate EIDs at their source.

Solution Overview

We will scale-up our integrated Global One Health initiative (GOHi) model in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Strengthening/building capacity of communities, workforce, and infrastructure is paramount to efficiently, effectively and comprehensively prevent and mitigate EIDs. Our solution builds upon the proven GOHi approach and includes: 1.Expanding and enhancing GOHi’s flagship workforce training and long-term university fellowship programs through in-person and online/asynchronous media using a Training-of-Trainers (ToT) model to build the capacity of local workforce to prevent and mitigate EIDs.2.Expanding in-country EID surveillance systems to improve detection, identification, measurement and tracking methods; expanding and strengthening field and laboratory capacities and diagnostics; and increasing communication among key organizations. 3.Carrying out targeted community interventions against high-priority, locally prioritized EIDs (i.e. vector-borne, zoonotic, and food/water-borne) to empower communities through education and increased awareness for local populations. A cross-cutting, fourth area of our strategy will be to leverage our digital resource hub, expanding access to GOHi’s high-impact training, surveillance, and outreach capabilities to a broader population. We will leverage resources from existing consortium partners and the lead national and regional bodies in each country, including ministries of Health, Agriculture and Education, U.S. CDC, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, U.N. World Health Organization, African Union CDC, African Academy of Sciences, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative/Biohub, and Canvas® among others. A Technical Advisory Group composed of State Ministers and leaders of partner organizations will be established to steer the project effectively, and to ensure interventions are locally relevant and that evaluation milestones and objectives are met.

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Project Funders

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fogarty International Center 2010 - 2023
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global Health Security 2016 - 2020
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2019 - 2024

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