One Health has been defined as ‘the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines’ working locally, nationally and globally ‘to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment’ (American Veterinary Medical Association, 2008).
Burrowing Owls were once endangered but farmers in Southern Saskatchewan have taken to protecting them. They are an important part of a healthy ecosystem (Photograph Dr Val Man)
The One Health movement has had a focus on infectious diseases. New infectious diseases are emerging at an unprecedented rate with about 75% arising from animals, including wildlife. Understanding and responding to these diseases requires contributions from the medical profession, from animal health experts, from wildlife specialists and ecologists, and from environmentalists, economists and social scientists. Increasingly the One health approach is being used to address broader issues such as food safety and food security.
The third International World Health Conference will be held in Amsterdam in 2015.