Building a Healthier Future Together: Future Africa Commemorates One Health Day

Future Africa joins the global community in celebrating the eighth annual “One Health Day” on 3 November. This day serves as a reminder of the urgent need for a One Health approach to address shared health threats at the intersection of humans, animals, and the environment.

One Health is at the forefront of Future Africa's research themes and aligns with the strategic plan of the University of Pretoria. Embracing the principles of collaboration, multisectoral cooperation, and transdisciplinary research, One Health seeks to achieve optimal health outcomes while recognizing the intricate interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. In the context of Africa's unique challenges, the One Health approach is adaptable to address issues at the local, regional, and global levels. Historically, One Health has been associated with emerging infectious diseases, food security, and antimicrobial resistance, but it encompasses a broad range of collaborative disciplines.

"One Health Day reminds us of the interconnectedness of human, animals and the environment. It calls us to action to address problems and find solutions through a One Health lens to improve health and well-being for all. We need to communicate, collaborate, coordinate and build capacity together." - Professor Wanda Markotter, Future Africa Research Chair in One Health

The Future Africa Research Chair in One Health plays a pivotal role in supporting and expanding transdisciplinary research and activities across the University of Pretoria's departments and faculties, fostering collaboration between institutions, countries, and continents. The Chair emphasises the importance of embracing One Health's foundational principles, including equity, sociopolitical parity, socioecological equilibrium, stewardship, and transdisciplinarity.


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One Health Day

Future Africa is actively involved in several One Health projects, including:

Food Systems Transformation in Southern Africa for One Health (FoSTA Health): This EU-funded project, in partnership with the University of Leeds, explores pathways for transforming Southern African food systems with a One Health focus, specifically addressing the meat food system, including the beef and pork value chain.

Community-Oriented Primary Care (UP COPC): This initiative combines clinical and public health resources to work with communities systematically, focusing on health-related needs and the human-animal-ecosystem interface.

Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (COHESA): COHESA equips the workforce with core competencies for applying a One Health approach to address complex health challenges. It also fosters research and innovation for the adoption of One Health solutions in Eastern and Southern African countries.

The Centre for Viral Zoonoses (UP CVZ): Specialising in researching viral zoonotic diseases of public health concern, UP CVZ focuses on viral pathology, entomology, ecology, and more. The Southern Africa Bat Research Network (SABRENEt), part of UP CVZ, uses a One Health approach to predict and prevent spillover from bats.

As we commemorate One Health Day, we are reminded of the critical importance of the One Health approach in addressing complex health challenges that affect both humans and the environment. Future Africa's commitment to One Health principles and its ongoing initiatives reflect a dedicated effort to build a healthier and more sustainable future for all.

For more information about Future Africa's One Health initiatives, please visit