Combating the Triple Threat: The Need for a One Health Approach
We live in a world that is rapidly changing, complex, and progressively interconnected. The convergence of people, animals, and their products embedded in an ever-changing environment has created a new dynamic. This dynamic is characterized by new threats to the health of humans, animals, and the environment. In addition, the health of each of these three domains is profoundly and inextricably linked and elaborately connected. Our interconnectedness strongly suggests that our future success in improving health will be based on a new integrative, holistic, and collaborative approach termed One Health. One Health demands that we work across professions, disciplines, and old boundaries. The challenges to our health are unique and profound, and old solutions to our new “wicked” problems are no longer as relevant or effective as in the past. The concept of One Health is not new but has reemerged as a concept to both better understand the triple threats to health and to better address these contemporary challenges using new approaches. This article discusses the health threats to each domain and calls for a new model to confront these challenges by shifting strategies and interventions upstream, closer to the origins of the threats. One Health is a new paradigm that can be used to improve the health of people, animals, and our environment as a collective rather than restricting our actions to any single domain.
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