Animal funds

One Health: animal diseases threaten food security

Vuyokazi Makapela, director of Afrivet, does not need to be introduced to the world of peasant agriculture. Each month, Food For Mzansi readers can expect his insights in our brand new Vuyo’s Voice column.

Directly translated, my name means “great joy” and that is exactly what I will be doing as part of the new One Health campaign.

I deeply believe in bringing a lot of joy and hope into the lives of those I interact with, but especially our communal farmers – a space where I have had the opportunity to do just that. These small farmers mean so much more to our country than we will ever realize.

I was born in East London and grew up in Mdantsane, both in the Eastern Cape, where most of my childhood memories were made. Eventually, I spent the rest of my teenage and young adult years in Keiskammahoek.

I believe it was not by mistake that our father decided to return to Keiskammahoek where he grew up. The intention was to connect with his family and peers as an adult, but deep in his heart he wanted to create jobs and grow the economy in the area.

It was there that I was exposed to business values ​​and agriculture and was part of a village where the principles of “ubuntu” were truly practiced and embraced. In my community, lifting others as you lift through creating opportunities for empowered communities and shared values ​​was non-negotiable.

Each time I return home, I am filled with a deeper passion to make an impact in the lives of these farmers and beyond. As such, we have embarked on several projects that not only seek to educate and develop our communal farmers on product knowledge, as we believe that product without knowledge and knowledge without product are useless.

Introducing One Health

The most important intention is to bring these farmers into the mainstream and lead them to become businessmen who contribute, not only to their families, but also to the country’s economy and security. eating.

Vuyo’s voice The campaign is therefore not an overnight flight to attract attention or even to seek funding. This is an enduring reach for the One Health concept to be communicated and understood by all South Africans.

At Afrivet, we are proud to be the leading animal health company in South Africa, but we also want to be known as the company that truly cares and makes a difference in the lives of smallholder farmers, their animals and communities. they live in.

Many would ask what is One Health and in simple terms it is an interconnection between human, animal and environmental health.

It is a concept that originated in 2004 as a collaborative approach to addressing common health threats such as zoonotic diseases that are transmitted from humans to the environment and then to animals, and so the cycle continues. Afrivet believes in educating our people about these zoonotic diseases and the threat they pose, not only to their lives, but also to food security.

I am convinced that if we unite the private and public sectors with our farmers, we can overcome most of the challenges facing our communities and the country as a whole. Our approach to public and private partnerships is focused on One Health – which will be covered in one of our upcoming topics.

Over the next few weeks, I will not only be building on One Health, but I will also be sharing success stories and role models your region or department can learn from and hold on to when it comes to animal health, especially now with the elections on the skyline.

READ ALSO: Pigs, humans and epilepsy: Afrivet shines in a vaccine project

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