Cross-Sectoral Collaboration Factors And Implementation Of The One Health Approach In Kenya
The One Health (OH) approach refers to collaboration across human health, animal health and environment sectors in order to attain optimal health for all domains. Few studies have examined how factors such as awareness, leadership, technical capacities and policies affect implementation of the OH approach. The purpose of this study was to examine these factors in the context of the Zoonotic Disease Unit (ZDU), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).The study used a mixed methods research design. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 71 respondents and 7 key informants were targeted for interview. All 7 key informants and 53/71 (74%) of the respondents participated in the study. Data was checked for consistency, coded, entered into the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and analysed using descriptive and correlational statistics. Interview data was transcribed and analysed thematically. From the analysis, 41/53 (77.2%) of the respondents were senior personnel, 51/53 (85%) of them had worked for five years and above in their organizations and 38/53 (71.7%) had at least a Master‟s degree. The study established that the level of awareness about the OH approach was high within specific departments but average or low organization-wide. The Spearman‟s Rank Order correlation revealed a moderate and statistically significant positive correlation between respondents‟ levels of awareness and their sensitization on the OH approach (Rs (51) = 0.55, p<0.001). Further, there was a weak but statistically significant positive correlation between level of awareness and academic qualifications (Rs (51) = 0.37, p = 0.007). The study found that though most senior personnel had embraced the OH approach, they participated less in its implementation due to constraints such as inadequate funding and weak capacities. There were moderate and statistically significant positive correlations between participation in leadership roles in the OH approach and the level of awareness (Rs (51) = 0.54, p<0.001) and level sensitization (Rs (51) = 0.52, p<0.001). Knowledge was the most widely acknowledged shared technical resource in the OH approach others being laboratories, research platforms, skilled human resources and logistics. Insufficient collaboration and coordination was found to be the main limiting factor to sharing of technical resources. The study further found that organizational policies, except the new veterinary policy, did not sufficiently provide for the OH approach and review was necessary according to 51/53 (98%) of the respondents. The study found that although the OH approach was being implemented well in Kenya, constraints such as inadequate funding, narrow stakeholder involvement and weak policy were felt. The study recommends scaling up sensitization about OH approach, training personnel on the OH approach, developing frameworks for sharing technical resources and reviewing policies to incorporate the OH approach.
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