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One Health is "the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines – working locally, nationally and globally – to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment".[1]



One Health is a new phrase, but the concept extends back to ancient times. The recognition that environmental factors can impact human health can be traced as far back as to the Greek physician Hippocrates (c. 460 BCE – c. 370 BCE) in his text "On Airs, Waters, and Places".[2] He promoted the concept that public health depended on a clean environment.[3]


The One Health Commission (OHC), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in the U.S., was created out of the joint efforts of leaders from multiple disciplines. Briefly, in 2007 Roger Mahr, then president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), invited Ronald Davis, then President of the American Medical Association (AMA), to open conversations to bring the animal and human medical communities together. The two organizations each followed with supportive resolutions: in June 2007, the AMA unanimously adopted a "One Health" resolution.[36][37] and a similar resolution was passed by AVMA in July 2008.[38] A One Health Initiative Task Force (OHITF),[4] made up of prominent health profession leaders and liaisons from the AVMA, AMA and the American Public Health Association (APHA), worked together from 2007–2008 to prepare an Executive Summary giving twelve recommendations for advancing and realizing the One Health concept.[5] One of those recommendations was the creation of a One Health Commission. Initially led by Roger Mahr[39] as CEO, the OHC was based first in Kansas then was headquartered for three years (2011-2013) at Iowa State University until Mahr’s retirement in 2013. In late 2013 the OHC Board appointed Cheryl Stroud to become Executive Director and the Commission was moved from Iowa to the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina.


"One Health Initiative" is a multidisciplinary collaborative approach to solving global and environmental health challenges. The One Health Initiative Autonomous pro bono team started the One Health Initiative website in 2008 which has since been serving as a global repository for all news and information pertaining to One Health.[6] Organizations supporting this movement include the American Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, the UC Davis One Health Institute, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, The American Association of Public Health Physicians,[7] the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).[8] Additionally, more than 850 prominent scientists, physicians and veterinarians worldwide have endorsed the initiative.[6]

International effortsEdit

Since 2008, the European Union "has promoted the OH approach, and it has already been integrated into certain EU strategy documents."[9] In the United States, the CDC has a One Health website with One Health resources.[10]

The 1st International One Health Congress met in February 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.[11] In 2013, the 2nd International One Health Congress met in Bangkok, Thailand.[12] The 1st One Health Conference in Africa was held in July 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa.[13]

The World Bank is investigating how to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of a One Health approach to global health.[14] In June 2012, the World Bank published the economic benefits of One Health.[15]

The importance of One Health is promoted by scientists in many countries and supported by prominent organizations including the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Organization for Animal Health,[16] The International Federation for Animal Health,[17] Global Alliance for Rabies Control,[18] New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine (NZCCM),[19] Hubnet in Asia[20] the One Health Global Network,[21] the University of California One Health Center,[22] Academic Hospital Utrecht and Utrecht Life Sciences [23] and the Infection Ecology and Epidemiology Network, Uppsala, Sweden.[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "One Health : A New Professional Imperative" (PDF). American Veterinary Medical Association. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  2. ^ Περί αέρων, υδάτων, τόπων  (in Greek) – via Wikisource.
  3. ^ The Internet Classics Archive. Hippocrates. "On Airs, Waters, and Places". 400 BCE. Translated by Francis Adams. Accessed September 1, 2011.
  4. ^ One Health Initiative Task Force Members 2007/2008
  5. ^ Executive Summary of One Health Commission Task Force (2008) -
  6. ^ a b "One Health Initiative". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  7. ^ The American Association of Public Health Physicians website. Accessed April 28, 2013.
  8. ^ The National Environmental Health Association October 2008 position paper on One Health. Accessed April 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "One Health: Addressing health risks at the interface between animals, humans and their environments". European Union - EEAS. Archived from the original on 2013-07-15. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  10. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One Health Related Meetings. One Health. Accessed September 1, 2011.
  11. ^ First International One Health Congress. Global Health Vet website Accessed April 28, 2013.
  12. ^ One Health Global Network website.
  13. ^ "First One Health Conference in Africa". Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  14. ^ The World Bank. "People, Pathogens and Our Planet. Volume 1: Towards a One Health Approach for Controlling Zoonotic Diseases." Report no. 50833-GLB. 2010. Accessed September 1, 2010.
  15. ^ The World Bank. "People, Pathogens, and Our Planet. Volume 2: The Economics of One Health." Report no. 69145-GLB. Accessed April 28, 2013.
  16. ^ World Organization for Animal Health. One World, One Health. Accessed September 1, 2011.
  17. ^ International Federation for Animal Health. Accessed April 28, 2013.
  18. ^ Global Alliance for Rabies Control. People and Animals. Accessed September 1, 2011.
  19. ^ New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine. Accessed September 1, 2011.
  20. ^ Hubnet website. Accessed April 28, 2013.
  21. ^ The One Health Global Network website Accessed May 13, 2013.
  22. ^ University of California Global Health Institute. One Health: Water, Animals, Food and Society. Accessed September 1, 2011.
  23. ^ Utrecht Science Park website "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2015-02-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Accessed January 1, 2015.
  24. ^ Infection, Ecology, and Epidemiology. The One Health Journal. Accessed April 28, 2013.