EnvironmentGlobal HealthOne Health

Veterinarians Play Key Role in the Concept of “One Health”

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(Archived story. Original version is here.)

Veterinarians work to protect the health of animals. They know that keeping animals and pets healthy also protects the health of people and the environment.

The One Health approach, adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, connects human, animal and environmental health. Experts in these areas work together to protect all life on our planet. The One Health philosophy is important, because six out of every ten infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals. Moreover, climate change has a very real and significant impact on the health of both humans and animals. 

Veterinarians work in veterinary clinics and hospitals, colleges, public health facilities, laboratories and other areas to keep animals and people healthy, prevent and control zoonotic diseases, promote food safety and food security and fight antimicrobial resistance and related public health threats.

The Journal of Southern California Clinicians recently published an article co-authored by WiRED 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 article covers 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 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.”

WiRED International recognizes the symbiosis between all living things on Planet Earth and frames the training modules in its Health Learning Center within this delicate balance. WiRED is ever mindful of the social and environmental determinants of good health, which are access to medical care, clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.

Veterinarians represent a vital part of the multidisciplinary team of health professionals who reinforce One Health as a vibrant and essential philosophy.

WiRED Marks World Immunization Week, April 24–30, 2018

The World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Immunization Week with the theme, “Protected Together, Vaccines Work,” to encourage people to make efforts to increase immunization coverage for the greater good.

Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhea, rubella and tetanus. WHO states that immunization averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and measles; however, an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage improves. 

How much do you know about immunization and vaccine-preventable diseases? Test your knowledge in WHO’s interactive quiz here.