One Health Centre in Africa

The goal of the One Health Research, Education and Outreach Centre in Africa (OHRECA) is to improve the health of humans, animals and ecosystems through capacity building, strengthening of local, regional and global networks and provision of evidence-based policy advice on One Health in sub-Saharan Africa. The centre has four thematic areas: control of neglected tropical zoonotic diseases; emerging infectious diseases; food safety and informal markets; and prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Research as the basis for science and academia, policy advice, recommendations for interventions including donor investments.
  • Development of strategies and action plans to control zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance
  • Support of public campaigns to control and/or eradicate zoonotic and foodborne diseases and promote rational use of drugs.

Thematic focus

1. Control of neglected tropical zoonotic diseases

Prioritization of diseases according to their health and economic burden; consideration of tuberculosis, brucellosis, rabies, Rift Valley fever among other zoonoses; development of information and communication technologies

2. Emerging infectious diseases

COVID-19 diagnostics and control; pandemic prevention

3. Food safety and informal markets

Risk assessment and identification of critical control points; improved occupational health and hygiene during food processing in informal markets; hygiene and waste management; risk communication

4. Prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance

Rational/prudent use of antimicrobials; antimicrobial resistance at the human-animal-environment interface; the role of livestock production in antimicrobial resistance; reduced and targeted use of drugs; improved data availability

These thematic areas build on and complement past and existing BMZ/GIZ-funded activities such as the Safe Food, Fair Food project in Africa and Boosting Uganda’s Investments in Livestock Development. The thematic area of antimicrobial resistance is funded by other investment partners through the CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance Hub and works closely with the One Health Centre.

An advisory committee of 10 representatives from institutions working on One Health will provide the centre with advice and guidance, with special attention to the specific needs of the African context.

Cross-cutting themes and interdisciplinarity

All themes include socio-economic and ecological (including climate change) aspects and research questions. Various groups (e.g. agro-pastoralists, conservationists, livestock farmers, processors, consumers and policymakers) are included.
OHRECA works with ILRI’s Capacity Development Unit to nurture future leaders in the regional One Health workforce through graduate fellowship programs. OHRECA also strengthens national competencies in One Health through training programs and communication interventions for behaviour change.

Partners and stakeholders

The One Health Centre will build networks and partnerships with institutions in Africa, Europe and beyond. Institutional partners include the following:
  • African Science Partnership for Intervention Research Excellence
  • Federal Research Institute for Animal Health (Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut), Germany
  • Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Germany
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • FoodBerlin
  • Vétérinaires Sans Frontières, Germany 
  • Other CGIAR centres (the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in the context of aflatoxins)
Collaboration with the African Union-Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development as well as multilateral organizations, especially the World Organisation for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, will be further strengthened.

Related videos

One Health Directory for Sub-Saharan Africa

For the One Health Research, Education and Outreach Centre in Africa, ILRI commissioned a review to map existing One Health initiatives in Sub-Saharan African countries spatio-temporally while creating a link to a database on One Health in Africa and stimulating critical One Health thinking in Africa.