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[Answered] What is ‘One Health’? Discuss its need and significance in context of rising zoonotic infections.

 

Demand of the question

Introduction. What is One Health?

Body. Discuss the need and significance of One Health in context of rising zoonotic infections.

Conclusion. Way forward.

 

According to WHO, ‘One Health’ is an approach to designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes. One Health is an approach that recognizes that the health of people is closely connected to the health of animals and our shared environment. One Health is not new, but it has become more important in recent years.

Need and significance of One Health in context of rising zoonotic infections:

  1. Risk of disease: Human populations are growing and expanding into new geographic areas. As a result, more people live in close contact with wild and domestic animals, both livestock and pets. Animals play an important role in our lives. Close contact with animals and their environments provides more opportunities for diseases to pass between animals and people.
  2. Climate change: The earth has experienced changes in climate and land use, such as deforestation and intensive farming practices. Disruptions in environmental conditions and habitats can provide new opportunities for diseases to pass to animals.
  3. Global movement: The movement of people, animals, and animal products has increased from international travel and trade. As a result, diseases can spread quickly across borders and around the globe.
  4. Collaborative effort: Many of the same microbes infect animals and humans, as they share the ecosystems they live in. Efforts by just one sector cannot prevent or eliminate the problem. For instance, rabies in humans is effectively prevented only by targeting the animal source of the virus (for example, by vaccinating dogs).
  5. Combating disease threat: The areas of work in which a One Health approach is particularly relevant include food safety, the control of zoonosis (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies and Rift Valley Fever) and combating antibiotic resistance.
  6. Information on viral agents: Information on viruses circulating in animals is crucial to the selection of viruses for human vaccines for potential influenza pandemics.
  7. Well-coordinated approach: Drug-resistant microbes can be transmitted between animals and humans through direct contact between animals and humans or through contaminated food, so to effectively contain it, a well-coordinated approach in humans and in animals is required.

Successful public health interventions require the cooperation of human, animal, and environmental health partners. Professionals in human health (doctors, nurses, public health practitioners, epidemiologists), animal health (veterinarians, paraprofessionals, agricultural workers), environment (ecologists, wildlife experts), and other areas of expertise need to communicate, collaborate on, and coordinate activities. By promoting collaboration across all sectors, a One Health approach can achieve the best health outcomes for people, animals, and plants in a shared environment.

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