ADAFSA unveils One Health biosecurity program

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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ADAFSA launches biosecurity program
Rep. Image | WAM

Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has launched its’ One Health ‘biosecurity program that aims to promote the integration of human, animal, and plant health and the environment.

The launch of the program is in line with the wise leadership’s directives and international standards outlined in the Joint International Action Plan on the One Health Approach for 2022-2026.

The announcement was made during a workshop organized by ADAFSA last week and attended by international organizations affiliated to the United Nations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and relevant federal and local government agencies.

The One Health Biosecurity Program stands as an innovative initiative reflecting Abu Dhabi’s dedication to cross-sectoral integration, ensuring the health and safety of the community and the environment. This involves establishing an effective monitoring system to track and monitor health conditions associated with each sector, developing preventive policies and measures to limit the spread of diseases and epidemics, and enhancing the sustainability of natural resources.

The Biosecurity Program comprises eight key initiatives aimed at establishing an effective surveillance system based on the monitoring of human, animal, plant, and environmental health conditions in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This includes analyzing data to identify and assess risks and take the necessary preventive and corrective measures.

In addition, the program focuses on developing policies and measures based on plans and programs to reduce the spread of diseases and epidemics, promoting awareness and education on biosecurity requirements, and training human cadres to apply best practices to enhance the sustainability of natural resources and protect them from pollution and overexploitation. This includes rationalizing water and energy use.

The program also aims to facilitate integration across sectors such as health, agriculture, environment, industry, and education. It emphasizes the exchange of information and data between stakeholders to develop joint plans and programs in line with the strategic objectives of the initiative.

Mouza Suhail Al Muhairi, Deputy Director-General for Regulatory and Administrative Affairs at ADAFSA, affirmed that the program’s launch in the presence of international organizations underscores the significance of international cooperation in promoting the concept of biosecurity and its comprehensive implementation.

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