Narratives of One Health In Action - One Health Commission

Narratives of One Health In Action

One Health can provide a safe, 'no judgment zone' for many needed conversations surrounding our most difficult global and environmental health challenges. ‘Narratives of One Health in Action’ is a page where many items can be shared, from peer reviewed scientific case studies to examples of One Health successes (or missed opportunities) to Op Eds and Opinion Pieces. Opinions expressed here are not necessarily approved by the One Health Commission but are shared ‘because’ this is a safe, no judgement zone and we need to hear from many perspectives on many of today’s challenges. Thoughtful articles written in a professional tone will be considered for posting. Submit suggested items to

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February 2020

Feb 18
February 18
Are we ready for new outbreaks?

Author: Dr. Siti Nursheena Mohd Zain, New Straits Times, Malaysia

"....all stakeholders, including clinicians, scientists, veterinarians and ecologists, must work together with government ministries to come up with practical solutions to combat new and emerging diseases. "

Feb 16
February 16
One Health concept gains importance

Author: Mini Muringatheri, The Hindu

Feb 14
February 14
Social solidarity vs COVID-19

Author:  Michael Tan, Philippine Daily Inquirer

In times like these we need to think of One Health, which considers the interactions of the health of humans, of the environment, and of nonhuman animals. We started the decade with all kinds of challenges to this notion of One Health. Think of Taal, the eruption of which was a gigantic paroxysmal “cough” that wreaked havoc on humans and nonhuman animals. Humans form the most complicated part of One Health—nearly 8 billion of us now, many living in very densely populated megacities.

Feb 12
February 12
Coronavirus: Why China Needs to Change its Animal Health Policies

Author: Richard, Seifman, Board Member, United Nations Association-National Capital Area

China’s troubles with the on-going coronavirus outbreak originate with its animal health policies and programs: They need to change and here is how.

What to do? 

Simply put, pursue a One Health approach, one which leads to integrated human-animal-environmental health policies and actions. To do this China, and other countries to be sure, will need to spend much more on veterinarians, wildlife professionals, food safety officers, and animal virus laboratory professionals. 

Most importantly, they need to actively make aware and engage civil society and communities in identifying possible animal diseases, providing incentives for reporting, not fear in so doing. More reference veterinarians and animal health para-professionals, as well as microbiologists and laboratory technicians,  and animal and human reference laboratories, are needed to analyze a suspected virus, to prevent and contain, rather than resorting to a costly response.

Feb 10
February 10
How to see the next viral threat coming

Author: Greg Gray in The Hill

"This emerging collaborative field, often called “one health,” integrates knowledge from several different spheres, including human health, animal health, environmental health and agricultural businesses. The approach is gaining traction among academics, government officials and international policymakers as the best way to approach complex problems such as emerging zoonotic diseases. But we need to do more to integrate this approach into how we prepare for viruses like the newly emerged coronavirus."

Feb 8
February 8
A Smithsonian team discovered a new coronavirus. The story behind that effort shows what it takes to get ahead of potential pandemics.

Author: Theresa Vargas, The Washington Post

Suzan Murray, director of the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program and former chief veterinarian of the zoo, says it was once normal for people to talk about the environment and human health separately. Now, she says, there is a “holistic approach.” There is recognition that human health is tied to the health of the environment and the wildlife in it.

Feb 4
February 4
Coronavirus from China: Why One Health Is The Solution

Author: Richard Seifman

.... "When we speak of “health” we usually mean “human health”. But over 70% of infectious diseases affecting “humans” are zoonotic, from animals to humans. For optimal health outcomes, we need to take into consideration human, animal, plant, and environmental health. That integrated strategy is at the heart of the “One Health” approach.".....

Feb 3
February 3
Coronavirus outbreak shows the risk in ignoring human activity’s impact on nature

The Star, Ontario, Canada

“One Health might sound like a hippie maxim, something you would see on a T-shirt in Kensington Market. But it is a widely accepted principle, one adopted by the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and other health authorities worldwide.

The current coronavirus outbreak is a sobering reminder that there is no firewall between animal and human health. Scientists believe the virus likely originated in bats and jumped to people at a wildlife market in Wuhan, China. More than 60 per cent of emerging infectious diseases come from animals, and more than 70 per cent of those from wildlife, research shows. “

“We’re just one inhabitant of the planet, although we’re overtaking it, absolutely. And we need the health of the planet,” says Ray, of the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada.  “We have to be thinking about health in a much more holistic way than we have been.”


January 2020

Jan 31
January 31
Coronavirus: Fear of a pandemic, or a pandemic of fear?


Arne Ruckert , Part-Time Professor, Social Determinants of Health, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa

Hélène Carabin, Canada Research Chair and Full Professor, Epidemiology and One Health, Université de Montréal

Ronald Labonte, Professor and Distinguished Research Chair, Globalization and Health Equity, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa


International response to this coronavirus also demonstrates considerable improvement, with rapid information flow and reporting of cases by Chinese authorities. But governance challenges remain, along with a growing awareness of the importance of what’s known as a One Health approach to pandemic outbreaks.

A One Health strategy recognizes that the health of humans is intricately linked to that of animals and their environments. In practice, it draws upon experts from human, animal and environmental health sciences, along with those in the humanities and social sciences, to build a response infrastructure that emphasizes information-sharing and co-ordination of actions across multiple sectors.

Jan 30
January 30
Wild animal link to coronavirus outbreak should revolutionise public health strategies

Author: Dirk U. Pfeiffer, South China Morning Post

  • A ‘one health’ approach, involving not just scientists but experts from disciplines such as economics and anthropology, could help
Jan 29
January 29
One Health Approach Embraced as Challenges Emerge: Public Health Watch

Contagion Live, Infectious Diseases Today

Those who require a reminder of the importance of the One Health approach need look no further than the ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak (2019 n-CoV).
One Health, which is designed to foster and streamline communication between infectious disease professionals engaged in human as well as veterinary health, is essentially where the rubber meets road when an outbreak occurs. Although we still have a lot to learn about the origins of 2019 n-CoV, it’s safe to assume that One Health protocols and principles have played, and will likely continue to play, a key role in getting the ongoing crisis under control

Jan 28
January 28
Stopping Outbreaks Through One Health: Making Tomorrow's Breakthroughs Possible

Author: Connor McCoy

Biotechnology is leading to breakthroughs for human, animal and environmental health, but is there a way we can address these outbreaks before they spread from animal to human?         Yes, and the concept is called One Health.


So, what is One Health? It is a public health approach that ensures all areas of government are coordinated and working together to foster and advance innovation that is critical in protecting against diseases and malnutrition. The ability to prevent, prepare for, and respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases such as coronavirus, Ebola, Zika, avian influenza (HPAI) and MERS depends on an improved understanding of the interconnectedness of human, animal and environmental health.

Jan 27
January 27
China's Coronavirus: How Do We Stop Such Deadly Threats?

Author: Gregory C. Gray

We know that most human emerging disease viruses first circulate in animals, yet we don’t often see them coming.

.................. "The continuous viral reproduction can sometimes lead to mutations or the mixing of viruses and a never-before-seen virus may emerge. Hence, new collaborative partnerships must be forged between agricultural businesses and human, animal and environmental health groups so that emerging viruses can be better be detected and mitigation strategies developed before a novel virus crosses over to infect man. Often, such an interdisciplinary collaboration is termed the "One Health Approach." Many institutions are calling for One Health interdisciplinary collaborations as the best approach to complex problems such as emerging viral threats".................

Jan 24
January 24
China's coronavirus outbreak proves we must pay closer attention to animal health

The Telegraph

Stopping disease in humans by preventing disease in animals underpins the concept of “One Health”, an approach to public health that recognises the links between animals, people and planet.

Jan 15
January 15
Funding for One Health Capacities in Low- and Middle -Income Countries

Author:  Olga Jonas, Senior Fellow and Economic Adviser, Harvard Global Health Institute

Most infectious diseases with epidemic and pandemic potentials are of animal origin; control at the source thus requires detection in animals, before the threat extends to human populations. Core veterinary and human public-health systems that use One Health approaches are the first line of defense against contagion and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Adequate financing for core veterinary and human public-health systems is important for their performance. Despite the remarkably low costs of core public-health systems, financing has been inadequate, and spending has not even been officially monitored.

Jan 13
January 13
Do Pets Keep People Healthy?

"Zooeiya" is the term that describes the positive benefits to the health of people as a result of interacting with animals, and the primary focus of zooeyia studies is the ways that pets improve the health of their people.

Jan 10
January 10
One Health AMR Opportunity: US Veterinary hospital faces rare antibiotic-resistant e. coli

'While seeing a CRE outbreak in veterinary medicine did not come as a surprise, especially at a large veterinary hospital, this veterinary hospital was not prepared for it, and they don't think the profession is prepared for it. They are getting the word out about the outbreak, and having discussions with public health agencies, human medical colleagues, and experts in environmental monitoring, will result in some guidance for veterinarians.   "It's a really good One Health opportunity........It's a great opportunity to bring everyone together."

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