Why One Health? - One Health Commission

Why One Health?

Why One Health?

  • Worldwide, nearly 75 percent of all emerging human infectious diseases in the past three decades originated in animals.
  • Environmental health may affect human and animal health through contamination, pollution and poor conditions that may lead to new infectious agents.
  • The world population is projected to grow from 7 billion in 2011 to 9 billion by 2050.
  • To provide adequate healthcare, food and water for the growing global population, the health professions, and their related disciplines and institutions, must work together.
  • The human-animal bond beneficially impacts the health of both people and animals.

Definition of One Health

See 'What is One Health?'

One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach - working at local, national, and global levels – to achieve optimal health and well-being outcomes recognizing the interconnections between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) One Health Infographic


Scope of One Health

  • Agricultural production and land use
  • Animals as Sentinels
  • Antimicrobial Resistance - a quintessential One Health issue
  • Biodiversity / Natural Resources Conservation
  • Biosurveillance for Disease prevention and response
  • Changing Climate
  • Comparative Biology / Translational Research / Diseases common to both animals and people, cancer, diabetes, obesity
  • Convergence of human, animal, and plant health and the health of the environment
  • Disaster preparedness and response
  • Economics / Complex Systems, Civil Society
  • Environmental Health / contamination detection and response
  • Food and Water Safety and Security
  • Global trade and commerce
  • Human-animal bond
  • Interprofessional relationships / sharing of knowledge (clinical and basic)
  • Non- Communicable / Chronic Diseases
  • Plant and Soil health
  • Planetary Health
  • Professional education and training 
  • Public policy and regulation
  • Vector-borne Disease Prevention and Treatment
  • Welfare / Well-being of animals, humans, planet
  • Zoonotic Diseases that pass between animals and humans

Potential Outcomes from the One Health Approach

  • More interdisciplinary programs in education, training, research, and established policy 
  • More information sharing related to disease detection and diagnosis as well as education and research 
  • More prevention of diseases, both infectious and chronic diseases
  • New therapies and approaches to treatment for unmet needs




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