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One Health Concept (OIE) gets renewed interest

One Health Concept (OIE) gets renewed interest

What is One Helath Concept?

The World Organization of Animal Health, commonly known as OIE (an abbreviation of its French title), summarises the One Health concept as “human health and animal health are interdependent and bound to the health of the ecosystems in which they exist”.

The philosophy of One Health recognises inter-connectivity among human health, the health of animals, and the environment.

Circa 400 BC, Hippocrates in his treatise On Airs, Waters and Places had urged physicians that all aspects of patients’ lives need to be considered including their environment; disease was a result of imbalance between man and environment.

So One Health is not a new concept, though it is of late that it has been formalised in health governance systems.

Renewed Interest

As human populations expand, it results in greater contact with domestic and wild animals, providing more opportunities for diseases to pass from one to the other.

Climate change, deforestation and intensive farming further disrupt environment characteristics, while increased trade and travel result in closer and more frequent interaction, thus increasing the possibility of transmission of diseases.

OIE Key Facts:

According to the OIE, 60% of existing human infectious diseases are zoonotic i.e. they are transmitted from animals to humans; 75% of emerging infectious human diseases have an animal origin.

Of the five new human diseases appearing every year, three originate in animals.

80% biological agents with potential bio-terrorist use are zoonotic pathogens.

It is estimated that zoonotic diseases account for nearly two billion cases per year resulting in more than two million deaths — more than from HIV/AIDS and diarrhoea.

One-fifth of premature deaths in poor countries are attributed to diseases transmitted from animals to humans.

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