What is One Health?

Monkeys and goat in Ghana

What is One Health?

The One Health approach recognizes the growing connection between the health of animals, people and the environment. It understands that humans do not exist in isolation, but are part of the larger, total living ecosystem. The activities and conditions of each member affect others on a variety of levels: economic, cultural, physical and more.

Preventing disease events rather than simply reacting to them requires coordination of wildlife, environmental, human and domestic health sectors. Prevention is always preferable to control because it actively avoids the impact of disease, and some control methods have negative social or environmental results.

In 2008, the American Veterinary Medical Association released a report in collaboration with the American Medical Association recommending that the One Health concept be expanded across both veterinary and human health professions. The concept has continued to gain recognition since then and future practitioners are increasingly expected to be prepared to work with colleagues across many disciplines to help solve emerging global problems.