The Holistic View of Health
The term One Health (“one health”) is used to summarize in one word the complex interplay between human health, animal health and the environment. In other words, optimal health and well-being can just be seen in the context of interconnections between people, animals, plants and their shared environment.
Health as a fundamental concept indeed requires a collaborative, multisectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach. Consequently, we see One-Health as a research resource for growing health and medical concerns in our todays society.
Fundamental of One-Health
The aim of One-Health is to achieve a healthy future for humans, animals and their environments. While One-health is not a new concept, it has gained prominence in recent years. This is because a variety of causes have altered the way people, animals, plants, and our environment interact:
- Human populations are increasing in size and spreading into new geographical regions. As a result, an increasing number of humans live in close proximity to wild and domestic animals providing food, fiber, livelihoods, transportation, sport, education, or friendship. Close interaction with animals and their habitats increases the likelihood of disease transmission between animals and humans.
- Changes in environmental conditions and ecosystems can create new pathways for disease transmission to animals, e.g. the earth’s climate and land usage have shifted as a result of deforestation and intensive farming methods.
- Illnesses of poeple and animals have the potential to spread rapidly across borders with the boost of international travel and commerce
Thus, environmental pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, habitat usage, antimicrobial resistance, food safety and security, climate change impact on health and ecosystems, novel infectious diseases or antibiotic resistance are only some of the global issues that One Health is addressing. The resources of our planet are finite, so we need a consistent change of direction to act preventively and sustainably when our ecosystem is out of balance in pandemics such as COVID-19, Ebola, malaria, and even tuberculosis. The cross-sectoral approach of One-health interlocks at local, regional, national and global levels to achieve sustainable and holistic health for all people, animals and plants in a shared environment.
Inspired by One-World Platform and Congress
The One-Health platform has has been founded in 2015 as a scientific resource center and a hub for stakeholders in One Health. As an autonomous, non-profit worldwide organization, it has been dedicated to advancing research for the greater benefit. It is accompanied by the The World One Health Congress as the largest One Health event of the year for experts and researchers from around the world as well as the One Health Outlook, an official journal aiming to promote the collaboration, connection and rapid sharing of information within all fields of research relevant to One Health through open access publishing.