The Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa’s, or CJTF-HOA, 448th Civil Affairs Battalion Functional Specialty Team, recently partnered with the Uganda People’s Defense Forces to conduct the One Health Initiative in Moroto, a district in northeastern Uganda.
Nearly 75 percent of all new, emerging or re-emerging diseases affecting humans at the beginning of the 21st-century originated in animals, according to medical authorities. To combat these emerging diseases, CJTF-HOA and the U.S. Mission in Uganda have joined forces through the One Health Initiative which recognizes that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected to conduct training on outbreak response.
The team conducted nine training sessions from Nov. 17 to 26 which included 20 community animal health workers, 20 community health workers, three senior veterinary students from Uganda’s Makerere University and three senior public health students. The students received certificates of completion, field packs containing equipment vital to their line of work in public or animal health and a supply of starter medication.
“The purpose of these trainings is for participants and implementing partners to share best practices, assess and address immediate veterinary and public health needs, as well as reinforce preventive medicine techniques in order to reduce livestock and human mortality,” explained Civil Affairs Uganda Team Leader Capt. Bryan Weber.
The One Health Initiative seeks to build a highly-trained and skilled veterinary and public health force while improving Uganda’s capability to provide for its own animal and human population. The health workers and students who participate in the training are encouraged to use their knowledge to earn a sustainable living by treating animals and people in their communities.
The two-week training includes one week of instruction covering basic disease surveillance, recognition and epidemiology, as well as water sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, family planning, maternal and child health. This is followed by a one-week community field program in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of regional livestock and human diseases. Additionally, participants learn about potential zoonotic disease outbreaks and epidemics and receive training on animal and human disease response, reporting and sampling.
Over the past four years, Civil Affairs teams assigned to CJTF-HOA have partnered with the U.S. mission in Uganda and Ugandan NGOs to conduct veterinary civic action programs and offer valuable training to veterinary students in Moroto to address the region’s livestock health problems.
By 448th Civil Affairs Battalion
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