Implementing One Health Concept in Rural Communities: Approaches and Challenges in Sierra Leone
One health issues need to be accepted and well implemented in rural setting of developing nations where health care delivery is still a mirage. This paper examines the challenges and approaches of implementing one health concept at rural communities in Sierra Leone. Rapid and participatory rural appraisal was adopted to obtain information from invitees, Non-Governmental organizations operating in the communities, direct and indirect beneficiaries in and around the project area which include officials from District council, councilors, ward representatives, Paramount Chiefs, community leaders, health workers, International and National Non- Governmental Organization, Traders, Animal Owners and officials from Ministry of Health and Agriculture. This study showed that implementing One Health in rural communities of this nature had been difficult due to a myriad of factors ranging from lack of trained available personnel, poor infrastructure, a weak health system in the animal and human sector, lack of organized institution and mismanagement of funds. It also identified one health needs and zoonotic diseases of interest as an entry point for implementation of one health concept. One of the zoonoses identified is rabies while dog ownership pattern and management were identified as factors that need improvement to achieve rabies control at rural setting.
Keywords: One Health, Rural Communities, Rabies, Dogs