Co-creation and priority setting for applied and implementation research in One Health: Improving capacities in public and animal health systems in Kenya
The Kenyan government has successfully been implementing sector specific and multisectoral projects aligned to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). For operational readiness and to enhance the effective planning and implementation of Global Health Security Programs (GHSP) at national and subnational level, there is an urgent need for stakeholders' engagement process to seek input in identifying challenges, prioritise activities for field implementation, and identify applied research and development questions, that should be addressed in the next five years.
The modified Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) method was used to identify global health security related priorities for multisectoral implementation in Kenya. Subject matter experts from human, animal and environmental health sectors at national and subnational level contributed to predefined research questions from a number of sources and activities for consideration for implementation using a One Health approach. Sixty-two experts scored the 193 questions based on five pre-defined criteria: 1) feasibility and answerability; 2) potential for burden reduction; 3) potential for a paradigm shift; 4) potential for translation and implementation; and 5) impact on equity. Data resulting from this process was then analysed in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to determine the research priorities and experts' agreements.
Among the priority activities identified for implementation research were; strengthening One Health governance and legal frameworks; integration of ecosystem health into One Health programming; strengthening disease reporting, integrated data collection, information sharing and joint outbreak response; socio-anthropological and gender-based approaches in improving risk and behavioural change communication and community engagement; and one health workforce development. In addition, the potentials to invest in collaborative predictive risk modelling to enhance epidemic intelligence systems, while strengthening the One Health approach in the food safety incident and emergency response plans are feasible.
Successful multisectoral implementation of global health security program in Kenya calls for a whole of society approach that will harness community and private sector knowledge to build preparedness and response capacities while targeting neglected and marginalised populations. This research provides a framework that is worth emulating for cost-effective planning and implementation of overarching One Health programs.