In order to strengthen the capacity of countries to address priority infectious diseases, including zoonoses, and to build synergies between human and animal health systems, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) have jointly developped an approach to conduct national workshops to encourage and facilitate a “One Health” approach to managing animal and zoonotic infectious diseases.
The WHO and WOAH support their Member Countries undertake assessments of existing strengths and gaps to comply with the IHR (2005) and the WOAH intergovernmental standards. They have worked together and have clarified the links between their respective assessment tools, namely the IHR Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and the PVS (Performance of veterinary services) Pathway.
WHO and WOAH consider that, at country level, the joint use of the IHR Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (IHR MEF) developed by WHO and WOAH PVS Pathway would result in better alignment of capacity building approach and strategies between human and animal health sectors. Using their comparative advantages, they have jointly defined an operational approach to propose capacity building activities to strengthen interactions between professionals and policy-makers from both sectors.
The WHO-WOAH IHR-PVS National Bridging Workshops (NBWs) are one of the main components of this approach.
Organised jointly by WHO and WOAH, the NBW is a three-day workshop bringing together representatives from both sectors to work on the connection between these frameworks and develop joint planning to improve their collaboration. It provides an opportunity to the country to share perspectives on IHR and PVS implementation.
The NBW follows a methodology developped by the two organisations largely tested to the develop a joint roadmap between the two sectors.
Based on group exercises, participants discuss on case studies used to identify bridging opportunities between the two sectors, as well as next steps and activities needed to strengthen national capacities relevant to the animal-human interface. This enhances cross-sectoral collaboration in the management of infectious diseases, particularly zoonoses. The workshop guides the participants through the aassessments conducted in both the human and animal health sectors, explore options for improved collaboration and coordination, and inform operational strategies to be used by policy makers for concerted correctives measures and strategic investments in national roadmaps.