What is One Health? - One Health Commission

What is One Health?

Definitions of One Health
One Health is a collaborative, multi-sectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach, working locally, regionally, nationally, and globally, to achieve optimal health and well-being of all animals, people, plants and their shared environment, recognizing their inextricable interconnections.

Previous OHC definition:
One Health is the collaborative effort of multiple health science professions, together with their related disciplines and institutions – working locally, nationally, and globally – to attain optimal health for people, domestic animals, wildlife, plants, and our environment.
  • Planetary Environmental health may affect human and animal health through contamination, pollution and changing climate conditions that may lead to emergence of new infectious agents.
  • Worldwide, nearly 75 percent of all emerging human infectious diseases in the past three decades originated in animals.
  • 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.
  • Human-animal interactions / bonds can beneficially impact the health of both people and animals.

Scope of One Health
Some people misunderstand and think that One Health is about everything therefore if must be about nothing.  But the truth is that One Health thinking (see definition above) and using the One Health approach is needed in so many arenas that it just seems to be about 'everything'. Here are a few arenas that urgently need the One Health approach, at all levels of academia, government, industry, policy and research,  because of the inextricable interconnectedness of animal, environmental, human and plant health. Convergence of human, animal, and plant health and the health of the environment
  • Human-animal bond
  • Professional education and training of the Next Generation of One Health professionals
  • Research, both basic and translational
  • Ensuring a safe food and water supply that is high quality, available and affordable
  • Agricultural production and land use / soil health
  • Natural resources and conservation
  • Disease surveillance, prevention and response, both infectious and chronic diseases
  • Comparative Medicine: commonality of diseases among people and  animals, such as cancer, obesity, and diabetes
  • Clinical medicine needs for interrelationship between the health professions
  • Environmental agent detection and response
  • Disaster preparedness and response
  • Public policy and regulation
  • Global trade, commerce and security
  • Communications and outreach
Potential Outcomes from the One Health Approach
  • More interdisciplinary programs in education, training, research, and established policy 
  • More information sharing related to disease detection, diagnosis, education and research 
  • More prevention of diseases, both infectious and chronic
  • Development of new therapies and approaches to treatments

One Health: A Ray of Hope 

© 2018 One Health Commission. All rights reserved.