Main topic : One Health
Recent Global Embracement of the One Health Concept: Exciting New Challenges for Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories
CARTER C. 1, OLUGASA B. 1, KAPLAN B. 1, SEIFMAN R. 1
1 University of Kentucky, Lexington, United States
In 2010, the World Bank and the United Nations recommended adoption of One Health approaches for all disease threats. In 2012, the first One Health Summit was held in Davos, Switzerland. It was agreed that the One Health concept was the most logical means to managing health threats, focusing on food safety and security. This is known as the Davos One Health Action Plan. Growing recognition of the critical importance of One Health was subsequently explicit in the G7 Ministers of Health summit communique, held in England:
We place particular emphasis on improving integration, by strengthening a “One Health” approach across all aspects of pandemic prevention and preparedness, recognising the critical links between human and animal health and the environment.
This G7 meeting was followed by the G-20 meeting in Rome in October 2021. One Health was fully embraced by the Ministers of Health, as stated in their pronouncement:
“We are determined to advance pandemic, prevention, preparedness and response, as well as to prepare the way for stronger post-pandemic recovery, in line with the comprehensive One Health approach, taking into account work of the Tripartite and UN Environment Programme and their newly established One Health High-Level Expert Panel[OHHLEP], and with previous G20 commitments to tackle antimicrobial resistance.”
On December 1, 2021, OHHLEP, which is comprised of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE/WOAH), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) released a joint statement that all four organizations are working in tandem to “mainstream One Health” to be better prepared to prevent, predict, detect, and respond to global health threats. Building on growing global momentum, in September 2022 the World Bank, with the World Health Organization as technical lead, approved the formation of a “Pandemic Fund” to assist in prevention, preparedness and response. A multidisciplinary Technical Advisory Panel has been appointed to review funding proposals for proposed projects. On February 3, 2023 the Fund announced its first approvals of $300 million in assistance to developing countries to prepare for, respond to and try to prevent future pandemics. This is the initial response to the first call for Expressions of Interest which closed on Feb 24, 2023; more such calls are expected in the future.
The Pandemic Fund offers promising opportunities for Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories to collaborate with human medical allied and environmental professions, to do common cause in improving prevention, prediction, and the early detection of the next pathogens and disease processes that threaten humans, animals, and all natural life. Healthcare units/agencies from the veterinary and human health sectors must collaborate on advanced pathogen detection and characterization methods and develop big-data networks employing zoonoses diagnostic matrices to closely monitor the emergence of pathogens and distribution of clinical cases in near-real-time. Developing proposals led by veterinary disciplines supporting this approach would respond to Pandemic Fund stated objectives, and would lead to better healthcare outcomes, globally and especially in developing countries.