16. UN shall adopt a ‘one health approach’ integrating veterinary medicine and environmental science to mitigate disease emergence and antimicrobial resistance and to ensure the continuation of agriculture and civilization

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Rapporteur: Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP; Research Scholar, Princeton University

One Health is the concept that human, animal, environmental/ecosystem, and atmospheric health are linked. It is a relatively new term but an ancient concept intuitively understood by indigenous peoples around the world. The One Health concept provides a useful framework for analyzing and addressing complex, interdisciplinary problems such as foodborne and waterborne illnesses, antimicrobial resistance, food security, and even climate change.

We live in a microbial world. We need to learn how to live better in it. We need to learn how to sustainably co-exist with the microbes living in us, on us, and around us.

For example, over 7 billion humans and almost 30 billion domesticated animals produce trillions of kilograms of fecal matter that contain billions of microbes. Each year, the massive amounts of fecal matter produced could fill an estimated 1.6 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. According to the World Bank(1), over 2 billion people don’t have access to basic sanitation systems, and almost 9 million of them practice open defecation. Open defecation, as the name suggests, means squatting and defecating out in the open. Many developing countries lack basic sanitation systems for human fecal matter, much less for animal fecal matter which makes up 80 percent of the total fecal matter produced.

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Ruth Needham

AN OLD TB VACCINE FINDS NEW LIFE IN CORONAVIRUS TRIALS BY ANTHONY KING, May 4, 2020 Studies are underway to test whether giving a shot of BCG vaccine could protect doctors and nurses against COVID-19. One of the oldest vaccines could protect us against our newest infectious disease, COVID-19. The vaccine has been given to babies to protect them against tuberculosis for almost a century, but has been shown to shield them from other infections too, prompting scientists to investigate whether it can protect against the coronavirus. This Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, named after two French microbiologists, consists of a… Read more »

Metta Spencer

Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain By Christopher Joyce . June 6, 2019 . https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/06/06/729419975/microplastics-have-invaded-the-deep-ocean-and-the-food-chain It’s one of the most confounding sights of California’s recent firestorms: One home is completely destroyed, and another right next door is still standing, even untouched. Cal Fire inspected just 17% of properties in 2018 in areas where the agency is responsible for checking defensible space, according to a KQED analysis of almost a half-million inspection records. That is just over half of the agency’s 33% goal. Might be luck. Or it could be because that homeowner took care of… Read more »

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J.T. Nowina

This looks to me like a definite “One Health” case–it has human, animal, and environmental aspects, though it is not a zoonotic pathology. It isn’t a virus jumping from animals to humans, but a human-made substance jumping into animals and then back into humans. So if that counts as “One Health,” radioactive contamination would as well, wouldn’t it? What are the boundaries? (Not that I’m trying to confine One Health within boundaries.)

Adam Wynne

I was alarmed to hear one such proposal to reduce the albedo effect in the Arctic was to release millions of small glass and plastic orbs onto the ice fields. Surely this would have significant long-term environmental impacts as these objects weather down and release fragments into surrounding ecosystems?

Metta Spencer

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Satish Srivastava notes:
So far, a total of 200 zoonotic diseases have been identified. Important among them are tuberculosis, Crohn’s disease, salmonellosis, anthrax, brucellosis, shigellosis and many more. Consumption of milk, meat, eggs from animals infected with any of such disease results in similar disease in humans. A constant monitoring of the health status of farm animals and birds by veterinarians minimize the risk of transmission of diseases to human population.
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Beverly Anderson

ISOHA A great organization called ISOHA — International Student One Health Alliance — has a mentorship program . Here’s part of their blurb about it on their Facebook page. We heartily encourage them! “International Student One Health Alliance “July 31 at 9:41 AM · “We launched our pilot ISOHA Mentorship Program this year after receiving strong interest from both mentors and mentees. Ultimately, we matched over 230 students representing 34 countries with over 150 professionals from 41 different countries and with a vast range of backgrounds including veterinarians, doctors, engineers, and social scientists. Thanks to their hard work and dedication… Read more »

Metta Spencer

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There is a very lively Facebook group called “One Health Approaches” that many practitioners and researchers can benefit from following. There seems to be a lot going on in Africa.

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‘A death trap’: Measles blamed in Malaysia indigenous deaths
Some 15 indigenous people from marginalised Batek group have died in the past six weeks with scores more in hospital.
by Chris Humphrey https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/d
19 Jun 2019

15 FREE ONLINE ONE HEALTH COURSES The Global One Health initiative has launched a collection of 15 online courses that are being offered under the online Canvas Network. 12 are currently live and accepting new students i.e. 1. Foundations of evidence-based practice in healthcare 2. Biology and management of weeds and invasive plants 3. Environmental public health 4. Media writing and editing 5. Fundamentals of pharmacology 6. Farm to table food safety 7. Introduction to the science of cancer 8. Molecular epidemiology 9. Life on earth: biomes, climates, ecology, and evolution 10. Introduction to pharmacy 11. Earths environment: soil, water… Read more »

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Interested in the latest travel health recommendations Check out the CDC Yellow Book, Health Information fort International Travel. to answer your patients’, employees’, or your own travel health questions.

The Yellow Book offers readers current U.S. government travel health guidelines, including pre-travel vaccine recommendations, destination-specific health advice, and easy-to-reference maps, tables, and charts.

Ken Simons

News: the Guelph One Health Institute

From heading off the next global pandemic to improving food security in Canada’s North, tackling some of humanity’s most pressing health problems is the purpose of a new research and teaching institute being launched at the University of Guelph (U of G).

One Health has long been promoted at U of G as an interdisciplinary approach to promoting health and curbing infectious diseases.

Read the full article here: https://news.uoguelph.ca/2019/06/new-institute-at-u-of-g-to-focus-on-one-health/

Dr. Naresh Kumar Sood

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The global ‘One Health’ concerns have long been knocking the doors of our present civilization. It needs immediate attention
and concrete action without social, political,demographic and subject bias. A great and timely initiative by the UN.


This is very effective approach in term of resource utilization. It also increase specialisation among fields. Which is keep for innovations.
Makerere University in Uganda has been involved in one health approach with student led initiatives and we have registered successes. For example medical camp, which formally used to for college of health sciences only now has veterinary included. And communities appreciate

Dr. M. M. Prasad

In our group the orientation of research on AMR is one health approach. All our research project proposals center on this theme. As far as bacteria are concerned the diversity known to us too less. All our assumptions are based on few studies. This needs more depth . With regard to measures of mitigation of slowing down climate change. 1. Are we ready to give rest to all vehicles at least once in a week? 2. Leaving aside diabetics are we ready to skip meals in toto for one day in a week? . If we do itis going to… Read more »

Innocent Twizeyimana

We need to own the policy making positions and keep on influencing those already there, towards healthier interconnectedness we all are part of.

Metta Spencer

THE CONVERSATION How the DRC’s Ebola Crisis has Led to Children Dying from Measles Forty-five years ago, the World Health Organisation launched the Expanded Programme on Immunisation. It covered six diseases – measles, tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. Since then, anti-measles vaccines have been distributed to millions of children across the world, leading to a massive reduction in illness and death. For example, between 2000 and 2017, it was estimated that global deaths from measles had reduced by about 80% due to vaccination. Success in the fight against measles is down to the delivery of at least two doses… Read more »

Metta Spencer

Viruses travel across species. Don’t feed the monkeys. They may bite. Don’t let your dog or cat sleep in bed with you. (Actually, about half of all pet owners do.)