One Health Policy: Where are we?

22-06-2017 Frederique Belliard

This post is guest written by our dedicated volunteers, Teja Sirec and Tomasz Benedyk.

It’s a frightening reality that global and local health systems have been caught off guard by threatening infectious diseases. Newly emerging diseases, originating from the human-animal-environment interface have been predicted in disease hotspots in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

There is an urgent need to prepare policy frameworks that can combat these threats. These policies would address the emergence and spill-over of infectious diseases and assure appropriate control and prevention of disease outbreaks. Let’s take, for example, the human-animal-human lifecycle of influenza A (IA) virus. IA virus-infected humans in direct exposure to pigs can infect the pigs. When the virus reproduces in the new pig host, genetic reassortment may occur giving rise to a generation of new IA virus variants, which can reinfect humans from a pig host, causing a new outbreak of influenza.

To implement the One Health approach, policies must be made on the foundation of scientific studies that integrate microbiology, epidemiology, ecology, social science and economics science. We need governmental and nongovernmental policy makers, funders and industry to collaborate and work closely together to protect and meet global health and health security goals. In fact, the wheels have already been set in motion. For example, the One Health approach is already being implemented in policies to address a broad range of global challenges:

To keep up-to-date on the One Health campaign, read the previous post here

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