The One Health Data Alliance Africa project (OHDAA), managed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, commenced in January 2022, and will last for a period of three years. The main objective of the project is to improve the digitalised One Health Data Governance and Management in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“One Health” is an integrated, unifying approach to balance and optimise human, animal, and environmental health. One Health (OH) looks at the entire system in which diseases can develop and spread and focuses on prevention and control measures to reduce corresponding health risks.
OH-related data mostly relate to epi-/pandemics, foodborne and waterborne diseases, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and zoonosis, which accounts for up to 70% of emerging infectious diseases and have their origin in the animal domain from which they are transferred to humans. Zoonosis can be the cause for epidemics and pandemics such as COVID-19, which appears to have originated from bats. One of the reasons for the need of digital tools in OH is that this data remains largely in sectoral silos and therefore cannot be brought together to create information and digital intelligence.
Many platforms also lack data science-driven algorithms which could, for example, enable predictive analysis of the socioeconomic impacts of public health related emergency measures on social and economic actors including vulnerable segments of society. Last but not least, most platforms do not provide application programming interfaces (APIs) through which third parties could use the information processing services of these platforms and/or retrieve data.
management4health provides technical support to technical working groups to improve the digitalised One Health Governance and Management and this will be achieved by various outputs, one of which being the development of a One Health Information Policy (OH IP) and an associated One Health Information Architecture (OH IA) for the structure, pan-African exchange, and utilisation of One Health information.
Furthermore, the One Health Information Policy and Architecture can provide guidance to institutions in Africa in the development, operation, use and maintenance of local, regional, and continental One Health Information Platforms with One Health Information Processing Services. This enables the integration and consolidation of information and the development of digital intelligence, which are among the core drivers for digitalised One Health Governance and Management (OH G&M).
At the same time, m4health, in close collaboration with AU-IBAR (African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources) and concerned technical working groups, will develop competency profiles and associated qualification materials for qualifying African specialists such as data scientists, business process analysts, information architects, digital ecosystem analysts, etc. for building, operating, and maintaining platforms with services at the local, regional, and continental level.