HomeNewsHealth InsightOne Health approach for humans, animals and planet

One Health approach for humans, animals and planet

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Nairobi, 26 April 2024 (TDI): One Health is defined as an “an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems,” as reported by the World Health Organization.

It maintains that the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants and the extended environment, which also incorporates the ecosystem, are linked and interdependent.

By combining the health of humans, animals and the environment, One Health can aid in addressing the full spectrum of disease control, which ranges from prevention to detection, preparedness, response and management, all the while contributing to global health security.

The One Health approach can be implemented at the community, sub national, national, regional and global levels, relying on shared and effective governance, communication, collaboration, and coordination.

Utilizing One Health approach

Unsustainable production and consumption patterns are resulting in environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, in addition to this, there has been an expansion in the frequency and severity of interconnected human and animal health threats.

Therefore, adopting the One Health approach heeds to the notion that the health of people is interlinked to the health of animals and the environment. In so, it offers encouraging solutions for shedding light on unparalleled challenges that people, animals and the planet go through.

Also Read: WHO-UNICEF addresses children’s health influenced by climatic changes

Role of Quadripartite

Since 2022, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Environment Program, the World Health Organization, and the World Organization for Animal Health have come together under one umbrella to form the “Quadripartite,” to assist the One Health approach in advancing further.

Important steps include upholding the integration of One Health principles into agendas and policies on a worldwide stage including the G7 and G20 engagements.

Moreover, this month’s sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA6), taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, underscores how multilateralism can help resolve the triple planetary crisis. These include climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.

Alongside this the Quadripartite is hosting its second session of the Quadripartite Executive Annual Meeting (QEAM 2).

The QEAM 2 encapsulates the principles of the four organizations to underline how Quadripartite can further better its policy impact and mobilize sustainable resources to support the application of the One Health approach at every level.

One of the most important outcomes expected from the meeting is the endorsement of the Quadripartite’s Joint Offer to deliver on the One Health Joint Plan of Action.

Furthermore, through the Offer, the Quadripartite binds itself to further invest in One Health, to assess the path toward health, economic, environmental and social sustainability, which is crucial in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

After the initiation of the Joint Plan of Action in October 2022, the Quadripartite has supported national action, that includes formulating and publishing technical policy guidance documents such as the “One Health and the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, Guidance for United Nations Country Teams” in November 2023.

Moreover, it has also supported the guide to implementing the One Health Joint Plan of Action at national level launched in December 2023 at COP28.

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