Fiji is developing a multisectoral framework for management of public health hazards at the human-animal-ecosystem interface using a One Health approach. They genesis of this activity was a process to develop a national strategy to control leptospirosis that began in 2011 and finished in 2015. Leptospirosis is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the country with approximately 420 laboratory-confirmed cases and 32 deaths per year attributed to the disease. The leptospirosis strategy was then used as a starting point for a broader consultation to address gaps in capacity to meet the requirements of the International Health Regulations in terms of intersectoral collaboration and coordination.
The main conclusion from the consultation process is that there is a need for a process to develop a culture of collaboration at the operational level as well as a governance structure that facilitates/enables collaboration and appropriate resource allocation. To achieve this a number of multisectoral pilot projects were developed on bovine tuberculosis (human exposure), fish poisoning (including Ciguatera), antimicrobial usage and residues in livestock and leptospirosis surveillance. The outcomes of these projects (due for completion in the coming months) will help inform approaches to governance across the implementing agencies in each sector. In the interim the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has endorsed a higher level approach to coordination and created a new governance structure to enhance communication between the different sectors involved in the management of zoonotic diseases under a new national communicable Disease committee.