Joannishka Dsani

Working Title: "Assessing the One Health approach in the surveillance of six priority zoonotic diseases in Accra, Ghana"

Research Countries: Ghana

Research Themes: zoonotic diseases, surveillance, prevention & control


Joannishka holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery Degree (DVM) from the Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (K.I. Skryabin) where she graduated summa cum laude. She also holds a Masters in Organisation Development from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

She has about six years of experience combining her veterinary and organisation development backgrounds to improve the lives of animals & bridge the civil society-veterinary industry interface in Ghana through various private and governmental organisations. She works on finding new/creative tools to give the vet industry a welcoming face and promote the promulgation of policies that will improve One Health in Ghana & Africa as a whole. Joannishka in 2018 was selected for the prestigious US Government Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, a brainchild of former US President Barack Obama.

Joannishka is currently working on her PHD in One Health under the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn. Her research interests are in Animal Welfare, Zoonotic Disease Surveillance, One Health, & Public Health


Delays in the detection and reporting of zoonotic disease outbreaks have significant implications for public and animal health and this is a critical aspect of the One Health Concept. Ghana still struggles with the control and prevention of disease transmission between animals and humans. This is compounded by the lack of a clearly defined multi-sectoral platform leading to poor collaboration on One Health among the key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) responsible for public, animal & environmental health. The MDAs’ of the key sectors work independently of each other thus surveillance data from both are not integrated. This means that if a zoonotic disease is diagnosed/ detected by the veterinarian in a particular community,  that information remains within the veterinary sector only. The vet is not obliged to report to the Ghana Health Service or even the medical officer responsible for that community. In March 2018, multi stakeholders, using the CDC One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization tool, ranked and prioritized six priority zoonotic diseases in Ghana. The current study aims at evaluating the surveillance systems of the six diseases. The study also seeks to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of the actors involved. The study hopes to identify the challenges that may confront the implementation of the One Health Policy in regards to the surveillance of the priority zoonotic diseases.

The study will investigate collaboration on disease outbreak surveillance at the district level between the key One Health sectors. The research will describe the surveillance systems, focus the evaluation design and credible evidence will be gathered regarding the performance of the surveillance systems. An integrated disease surveillance intervention will be set up to investigate real time reporting of the six priority zoonotic diseases using a custom mobile app – the FAO Event Mobile Application (EMA-i) by all 3 sectors. The research will state conclusions, make recommendations, ensure use and share/feedback lessons learned. These lessons will be useful for informing the kind of challenges there might be in implementing the one health policy developed which is yet to be implemented and will be an avenue for sensitization and planning the way forward. Qualitative & quantitative interviews interrogating the understanding and perspectives of the One Health concept will be conducted at the national level with policy makers and implementation bodies. The outcome will inform how prepared Ghana is to truly implement the policy. Recommendations from the analysis of the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP’s) can indeed guide the implementation.



Prof. Walter Bruchhausen (UKB - IHPH)



Phone: +49 228 /73 - 6759

Email: jdsani(at)

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