The "One Health" approach - achievements and challenges

II-nd edition
November 23-24, 2023

"One health" concept

Human health

The WHO defined health in 1946 as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”, with a later addition “the ability to lead a socially and economically productive life”.

Animal health

The OIE defines animal welfare in 2008: an animal is in good condition if it is healthy, enjoys comfort, is well fed, is safe, can exhibit its innate (natural) behavior and does not suffer from unpleasant conditions such as pain, fear and stress.

Plant and environmental health

Environmental health refers to those aspects of human health that include the quality of life determined by physical, biological, socio-economic and psycho-social factors in the environment. The interrelationships of man with the environment concern medicine, when an ecological system is in a state of equilibrium, the health of the population prevails.

At the global level, the One Health concept is a worldwide strategy to expand interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects related to the health care of humans, domestic animals or wildlife, which can no longer be approached separately, but only jointly. One Health approach addresses not only human and animal disease concerns, but also lifestyle, diet, exercise, the impact of different types of human-animal relationships, and environmental exposures that can affect both populations. In order to achieve the expected effects, it is also necessary to educate the population to make them aware of the risk factors and the benefits of prevention, as well as communication and understanding between patients and health service providers.