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Co-ordination key to implementing UN One Health strategy

Update: February, 04/2015 - 08:41
The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. — Photo mannondongphu

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam has made progress with the One Health (OH) initiative, but still needs to develop a strategic co-ordination mechanism along with an action plan and road map, UN Resident Co-ordinator in Viet Nam Pratibha Mehta said at the opening of the third One Heath Conference in Ha Noi yesterday.

During the conference, options were discussed for stronger co-operation between human, animal and ecosystem health under the OH umbrella.

"International experience suggests that for sustainable results ‘One Health' requires a multi-sectoral approach that goes beyond human and animal health sectors to include partners from natural resource management, ecosystem health and development planning sectors," she said.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said Viet Nam had made accomplishments in co-ordinating with other countries to prevent avian flu H5N1 epidemics. However, Viet Nam was located in a relatively high-risk region for new, re-emerging and recurring infectious diseases in human, livestock and animals, so the current challenge was to maintain long-term efforts to address infectious diseases among human and animals.

In recent months, worldwide attention has focused on the impact of new and emerging infectious diseases, including Ebola and avian influenza, which can have massive, rapid and far-reaching consequences on human health, livelihoods, food safety and economic development.

One Health is an initiative involves applying a coordinated, collaborative, multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach to address potential or existing risks that originate at the animal-human-ecosystems interface.

The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. In less than four years, One Health has been formally endorsed by the European Commission, the US Department of State, World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and United Nations System Influenza Coordination (UNSIC) as well as various universities and NGOs. — VNS

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