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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How to fight Antimicrobial Resistance

1. Don’t take antibiotics unless you really need them (doctor prescription only!)

2. Finish your antibiotic pills! This is very important even when you feel the clinical symptoms are gone already. Because the insufficient dosage of antibiotic will make the bacteria develop their resistance.

3. Prevent infections! The easiest way is to wash your hands before eating!

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.

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Microplastics Have Invaded The Deep Ocean — And The Food Chain

By Christopher Joyce | June 6, 2019 .

The largest habitat for life on Earth is the deep ocean. It’s home to everything from jellyfish to giant bluefin tuna. But the deep ocean is being invaded by tiny pieces of plastic — plastic that people thought was mostly floating at the surface, and in amounts they never imagined.
Very few people have looked for microplastic concentrations at mid- to deep-ocean depths. But there’s a place along the California coast where it’s relatively easy: The edge of the continent takes a steep dive into the deep ocean at Monterey Bay. Whales and white sharks swim these depths just a few miles offshore.

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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.)

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?

Monitor the health of farm animals

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.

ISOHA Mentorship Program

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 to the program, interdisciplinary One Health networks expanded around the world….”

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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.

A Measles Outbreak in Malaysia

‘A death trap’: Measles blamed in Malaysia indigenous deaths
Measles is one of the most infectious diseases, but it can be subdued with the widespread practice of vaccination. Unfortunately, there are new outbreaks in places where vaccination campaigns have lagged. Some 15 indigenous people from a marginalised population in Malaysia, the Batek group, died in six weeks in 2019, with scores more in hospital.
by Chris Humphrey,19 Jun 2019

The Batek are among the most marginalised tribes within the Orang Asli, struggling to survive as the forest they live in is cut down for timber and replaced with plantations.

“The marginalisation of the Orang Asli has left them in abject poverty,” said Alberto Gomes, emeritus professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne who has spent 40 years researching the indigenous community.

“They’ve lost their means of production and survival and been robbed of their cultural autonomy.”

In a statement on Monday, Malaysia’s health ministry said tests showed that 37 of the 112 people who had fallen sick had been infected with measles. Three had died from the disease, including a severely malnourished two-and-a-half-year-old child who had developed pneumonia, a complication from measles, and died at the weekend.

15 Free Online 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:

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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.

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News: the Guelph One Health Institute

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.

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Glad the UN is promoting ‘One Health’

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.

Makerere University students adopt One Health approach

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

Drastic measures are required to slow climate change

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 it is going to have telling impact on so many aspects.

We are all connected, so let’s act that way

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

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.

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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.)