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Nov 3, 2023

‘Invest in One Health actions for better health’

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FA News Desk
The flag of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) flies at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. WHO/P. Virot
The flag of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) flies at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. WHO/P. Virot

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls on world leaders to increase political commitment and action to invest in the “One Health” approach to prevent and tackle common threats affecting the health and well-being of humans, animals, plants and environment together.

Today, WHO is joining community organizations observing the eighth annual “One Health Day” campaign to attract global attention to the importance of the One Health approach, as stated in a WHO press note.

One Health is a sustainable way of living together on this planet, it can be seen as a lifestyle that relies on understanding how human actions and policies could affect animal and environment health.

The One Health Day provides everyone with an opportunity to educate themselves on the connections between the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment.

In addition to saving lives and promoting well-being, One Health actions offer huge economic benefits, it reads.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Bank estimate that One Health efforts could bring at least US$ 37 billion per year back to the global community.

Health impacts of climate crisis, water contamination, food safety and increasing disease outbreaks are among some of the greatest challenges humanity and the planet are facing today.

Air pollution leads to 7 million human deaths with US$ 3 trillion losses every year. Antimicrobial resistance-related issues lead to 5 million human deaths every year, with an expected economic loss of up to US$ 100 trillion by 2050, it said.

The estimated scale of human deaths from COVID-19, a recent emerging disease, was 6 million by 2022, with more than US$ 3.5 trillion economic loss.

Among international organizations, the One Health approach is led by the Quadripartite collaboration on One health, which includes WHO together with FAO, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).