VSF International Policy Brief n. 6 – June 2020
One Health is a collaborative approach to achieve optimal health and well-being outcomes recognizing the interconnections between people, animals, plants and their shared environment. Although widely recognised and very advanced theoretically, the One Health approach is still sparsely implemented in the field, especially in development and humanitarian contexts in the Global South. However, it offers opportunities to address the complex challenges found at the interfaces between humans, animals and the environment – especially among livestock-dependent communities – and therefore, more resources should be put in place to assure its implementation.
This publication, available as a short Policy Brief and a more extended Technical Paper, aims to provide evidence on the added value of One Health as a framework to achieve sustainable improvements for the well-being of humans, animals and the environment in the Global South through multisectoral and transdisciplinary collaborations between NGOs, local communities, research, international organisations, funding bodies and governments. It presents the principles that guide the VSF International network in One Health implementation, and it describes the strategic axes put in place by VSF International to address the interrelated health risks that affect livestock-dependent poor and vulnerable communities. Finally, it makes a global call for strengthening the implementation of One Health to contribute towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through adequate policies and allocation of resources.
The paper also highlights the importance of involving a broad range of stakeholders in One Health interventions, including local communities and farmers’ organizations, who are in the frontline of food production, at the interface between animal health and productivity, sustainable management of the environment and peoples’ health, and who hold a valuable set of traditional knowledge; and systematically including the environmental “pillar” by focusing also on human practices that impact the environment and, in turn, affect human health.