- It is from health individuals and societies that we can attain growth, development and social wellbeing.
- Unfortunately, for many years, human health was related and concerned with problems which affect humans without necessarily giving some attention to the interaction between human, animals and the environment.
Health of an individual and the community has been at the core of human development since time immemorial.
It is from health individuals and societies that we can attain growth, development and social wellbeing.
Unfortunately, for many years, human health was related and concerned with problems which affect humans without necessarily giving some attention to the interaction between human, animals and the environment.
Ancient scientist like Hippocrates who is considered as the father of medicine described the influence of environmental factors, such as water and air to diseases we face. The concept of ‘one health’ is becoming more appreciated among researchers globally.
What is one health?
One health is the integration of efforts across a range of disciplines such as medicine and veterinary working together to promote the health of both animals and human.
It might sound surprising when we begin to talk about animal health while we still have a lot of challenges with human health.
Indeed, the right thinking should always be to think about animals while we think about improving health and control of human diseases. Animals have been part of human life, we do keep animals and so we do sometimes share diseases.
Take an example of a pastoralist society and the risk of getting anthrax if they do not take their animal health into consideration or the risk of bird flu among farmers who keep birds.
There are diseases which affect humans but they are reserved in animals.
Example, plague which swept a great deal of Europe in the 14th century. Such diseases are called zoonotic diseases. A mere control of a disease among humans without a strategy which target reservoirs will indeed not be successful.
Why one health?
One health initiatives is intended to encourage and develop comprehensive and collaborative control strategies across different expertise to promote optimal health for both animals and humans.
In the face of growing populations and increased human activities for economic purpose, human and animal contact has resulted in a number of emerging diseases.
It is important to say that, we should not blame it all to animals always, there are diseases which we humans, for a fact, infect animals.
For example genetic studies have shown tuberculosis was primarily a disease of humans which jumped to animals such as cattle because of human-animal interactions.
Increasing human travel among humans play an important role in transmitting new emerging diseases and the complexity of how such diseases can be controlled.
Going forward, scientists working in both human and animal health should increase efforts towards one health initiative and collaboration. The fight and preparedness of new emerging diseases must engage holistic approaches by definitely engaging one health initiatives.
The society must be aware that our interaction with animals as we keep them for domestic and commercial purposes could results to serious health consequences if we do not take good care of their health as well.
Routine vetenary services, early reporting of suspected diseases will play a major role in controlling potential new emerging infectious diseases.