Author : Bassirou Bonfoh, DVM, Msc, PhD

Director of Afrique One-ASPIRE

Africa is facing a range of health problems that arise from complex human, animal and environmental interactions (e.g. Ebola, avian flu, Brucellosis, Rift Valley Fever). To address endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases, One Health emerged as a promising approach in the last decade. Thanks to the networks in research and policy circles established in Africa since 2006, this approach thrives within science and society and gradually gains a foothold in African and international policy structures too. The consortium Afrique One, under the African Institutions Initiative of the Wellcome Trust, has built a critical mass of One Health researchers and practitioners in Africa. Under the current DELTAS Africa initiative, the research and training programme Afrique One-ASPIRE (African Science Partnership for Intervention Research Excellence consortium) aims at building a generation of researchers and practitioners that are effectively implementing this approach in their agenda for zoonotic disease elimination. The guiding principle is to offer a true transdisciplinary and intersectoral collaboration platform for adding value to the health system. While others consider this approach as disciplinary or institutional, our pride today are international and continental initiatives promoting One Health.

The main contribution of Afrique One-ASPIRE is building the capacity of the selected 45 African young scientists to engage in research-intervention on five main issues, namely rabies elimination, Brucellosis control, environmental TB control, mitigating foodborne diseases and nutritional illness, zoonosis surveillance and response systems. They hold promise to become the next leaders in health research in Africa.

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