BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW; EDITED BY BERNICE BORN
(Archived story. Original version is here.)
The Medical Journal of Southern California Clinicians (MJSCC) recently published an article titled, “The Importance of a One Health Perspective in a Changing Environment.”
The MJSCC article is co-authored (see sidebar) by WiRED International Director Gary Selnow, Ph.D.; Western University professor and WiRED board member, Miriam Othman, M.D., M.P.H.; and Western University professor, Malika Kachani, Ph.D., D.V.M. The authors cover the history of human and animal health, the logic of One Health thinking, zoonotic diseases and the role of healthcare professionals in the One Health program.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established One Health in order to recognize the connection between the health of humans, the health of animals and the health of the environment. The MJSCC article highlights the importance of the One Health view and discusses how conditions of a fast-changing global environment play a leading role in One Health, particularly for health clinicians.
The authors state that these conditions, especially climate change, have “altered how humans and animals interact, where they interact, and the health implications of their encounters.” One striking example of the effects of warming temperatures is the migration of the Aedes aegypti mosquito into North America and the subsequent transmission of a disease such as Zika. Warmer temperatures allow viruses to grow more rapidly in mosquitoes’ bodies, which enable them to infect more people and animals before dying.
WiRED is in the process of configuring its training programs to take into account the One Health approach. Climate change’s impacts hit hardest in the world’s underserved communities where WiRED provides health education.
The authors conclude: “It is becoming ever more evident that we cannot think about human health in isolation. …. At the end of the day, it may fall to medical and veterinary practitioners, who see impacts on the ground, to be certain the One Health view is represented in critical policy discussions at the local, regional and global levels.”
The Medical Journal of Southern California Clinicians
The Medical Journal of Southern California Clinicians is a peer-reviewed medical journal that serves the medical professionals of Southern California. Originally founded by doctors at the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, the journal is the only publication in southern California that offers medical professionals the opportunity to share their knowledge, discoveries, and opinions with one another.
Miriam Othman, M.D., M.P.H., is the director of the Community & Global Health Center and an assistant professor at Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA.
Gary Selnow, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus at San Francisco State University and the director and founder of WiRED.
Malika Kachani, Ph.D., D.V.M., is professor of parasitology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences.