Article

One Health Approach (OHA) in Selected Urban Settings in Tanzania: Knowledge, Attitudes, Awareness, and Practices

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Abstract

Attainment of optimal health calls for collaboration between animals, humans, and environmental health professionals together with understanding the consequences of animals, humans, and environment interactions on health. In cognizant of this, the government in Tanzania introduced One Health Strategic Plan (2015–2020), little is empirically known on how this plan has facilitated the enhancement of knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) under One Health Approach (OHA). This article analyses KAPs under OHA from a cross-sectional study conducted in Morogoro, Tanzania. Data were collected by a questionnaire from 1440 respondents obtained through a multistage sampling procedure, 80 Focus Group discussions (FGDs) participants and 16 key informant interviewees. IBM-SPSS v.20 analysed quantitative data while qualitative data were organised into themes on specific objectives. Results revealed that only 32.3% (95% CI:30.3 to 35.3) had adequate OH knowledge. Only 5% (95% CI:4.0 to 6.1) were aware of OHA concept and practices; 3.8% (CI 95%, 2.8 to 4.8) managed to identify collaborative efforts and strategies, and 2.5% (CI 95%, 1.7 to 3.4) correctly explained/ described OHA. Whereas, 38.5% (95% CI:32.6 to 37.5) had a positive (favourable) attitude towards OHA. Despite the efforts outlined in the OH Strategic Plan to promote OHA, there is little awareness and knowledge on OHA. This indicates that the One Health Strategic Plan (2015–2020) and other initiatives have not significantly facilitated the enhancement of KAPs. This study recommends strengthening efforts towards OHA information dissemination to enhance awareness and knowledge on the concept and practices.

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Partnership and multisector engagement involving professionals from humans, animals, and environmental health and knowledge on the associated consequences from the interactions of humans, animals, and the environment on health is vital towards the attainment of optimal health. This is due to the fact that health-related challenges that require One Health approach (OHA) to manage, have grown in frequency, dynamics, and manifestation to the extent of requiring strengthened efforts to address emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases. The need for multidisciplinary approaches to effectively manage these risks requires stronger partnerships at the community level and government engagement. Having realized this, the Government of Tanzania formulated One Health Strategic Plan (2015-2020), with an intention of enhancing knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) under OHA. Little is empirically known on how effective this plan has been towards facilitating partnership and multi-sector engagement (P&MSE) for outbreak responses. Data were collected in Morogoro region using a questionnaire from 1440 respondents recruited through a multistage sampling procedure, 80 Focus Group Discussion participants, and 16 key informant interviewees. IBM-SPSS v.20 analyzed quantitative data while qualitative data were organized into themes on specific objectives. Results revealed that only 3.8% (CI:95%, 2.8 to 4.8) identified P&MSE in the study area, 30% (22.9 to 35.8) of the respondents indicated that the reported PMSEs to be effective in outbreak responses. The study further revealed that 32.3% (95% CI:30.3 to 35.3) had adequate OH knowledge. Only 5% (95% CI:4.0 to 6.1) were aware of OHA-related practices and 2.5% (CI 95%, CI:1.7 to 3.4) correctly described OHA. Despite the efforts in the OH Strategic Plan to promote OHA, little has been observed on P&MSE for outbreak responses. Though both low awareness and insignificant PMSE have been observed, 39.2% confirmed the relevance of OHA towards PMSE. Schools, hospitals and non-governmental organizations were identified to facilitate P&MSE for outbreak responses. This indicates that efforts established through the plan have not been significantly reflected at the community level. This study recommends strengthening efforts towards the execution of OH Strategic Plan focusing on the creation of effective P&MSE for outbreak responses.
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