Introduced at the beginning of the millennium, the "One Health" concept expresses in a few words the acknowledgement that human health and animal health are interdependent and related to the ecosystems in which they coexist, according to an announcement from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Diseases of animal origin that can be transmitted to humans, such as avian influenza, rabies, Rift Valley fever and brucellosis, pose global threats to public health. Other diseases that are mainly transmitted from person to person also circulate in animals or have a known animal reservoir and are susceptible to causing serious health crises, as the recent epidemic of Ebola virus demonstrated. These risks grow stronger with globalization, climate change and changes in human behavior, all of which provide opportunities for pathogens to colonize new areas and evolve into new forms, OIE said.
OIE noted that this concept requires a global collaborative approach to tackle the risks to human, animal and environmental health as a whole, and takes action accordingly. It builds on its intergovernmental standards and the worldwide information on animal health that it gathers, as well as its network of international experts and programs for strengthening the capacities of national veterinary services. Moreover, OIE works in collaboration with more than 70 other international organizations, in particular those that play a key role at the human/animal/environmental interface.
OIE has launched a new web portal that brings together the tools OIE has developed to control worldwide animal health risks more effectively, presenting the actions taken with its partner organizations — in particular, the World Health Organization and the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, within the framework of the Tripartite Alliance — as well as the tools used by stakeholders on the ground to support the joint work of the human health and animal health services.
On the web portal, one page is dedicated to OIE’s communication tools, which are aimed at diverse audiences and include fact sheets, explanatory tools, videos and press releases, as well as information on various events related to the One Health theme.
The portal can be accessed at www.oie.int/onehealth.