In light of COVID-19 and previous outbreaks of other zoonotic diseases that pass between animals and humans (Examples: SARS, MERS, HIV Aids, Ebola, Zika, etc.), leaders at the recent G7 Summit meeting endorsed “strengthening a One Health approach across all aspects of pandemic prevention and preparedness.” However, the general public does not yet understand what One Health is all about.
To meet this need, on Wednesday, June 30, the One Health Commission, in partnership with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The Wilson Center, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, launched the first in a series of One Health in the U.S. webinars — ‘Part 1 - One Health 101: What is All the Fuss?’
One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach to achieve optimal health and well-being for humans, animals, plants, and their shared environment. One Health recognizes that the health of people, animals, and the environment are inextricably interconnected. We cannot have healthy people without healthy animals, and we cannot have healthy animals without a healthy environment. Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/OHC-WhatIsOH and https://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/basics/index.html
The three-part webinar series will answer the questions:
● What do I need to know about One Health?
● Why do I need to know it?
● Why is it so important?
● What can I do about it?
The first webinar, ‘One Health 101: What is All the Fuss?’, featured an overview of the One Health framework, systems and policies, and highlighted best practices in preventing the next pandemic. Freelance Reporter Jimmy Tobias narrated a true One Health success story about the Bracken Cave in San Antonio and the bats that dwell there and a proposed development that would have jeopardized the health of both the animals and people.
Professorial Lecturer Dr. Bernadette Dunham stated “There needs to be sharing of the data collected from [disease] surveillance programs, epidemiological and laboratory investigations, risk assessments, research and educational outreach activities - which means fostering a One Health, cross-sectoral collaboration among the different relevant sectors at regional, national and international levels: because we travel, animals and plants travel and the microbes travel. Borders do not matter to pathogens……..I do think we are at an important crossroad in our thinking because One Health can appeal to people at a personal level”.
“I like to think of One Health as an approach for wicked, terribly complex problems……. there is often no single discipline or no single agency that you can point to to say ‘Fix this!’.... We need to find ways to work in advance of these problems as they come up…. One Health is that approach…..If we use a One Health approach and we make that a foundation for the [disease] surveillance that our governments do, we can do this surveillance often at lower cost and it can be more sustainable,” said Duke University epidemiologist (disease detective) Dr. Greg Gray.
Still to come:
Part 2 - ‘One Health in the U.S.: Gaps and Challenges’ is slated for September
Part 3 - 'One Health in the U.S.: Biosurveillance' will occur in October or November.
For more information, please contact:
Cheryl Stroud, DVM, PhD
Executive Director, One Health Commission