Will the COVID-19 crisis trigger a One Health maturity?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the world, leaving governments and public health services in shock and disarray, calls have been made for the need for One Health approaches to address the inability to predict and halt the emergence of COVID-19.
1
  • Amuasi JH
  • Walzer C.
  • Heyman D
  • et al.
Call for a COVID-19 One Health Research Coalition.

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is widely suggested to have originated in Asia from a reservoir of bats, possibly implicating other bridge animal species as well. As such, One Health’s focus on the human-animal-environment interface seems particularly compelling.

2
  • Kock RA
  • Karesh WB
  • Veas F
  • et al.
2019-nCoV in context: lessons learned?.

We agree, however, we caution that the conceptual and institutional ambiguities that impede the practical implementation and evaluation of One Health remain to be resolved.

3
  • Wilcox BA
  • Aguirre AA
  • By Paula N.
  • Siriaroonrat B
  • Scaffold P
Operationalizing One Health Using Socio-Ecological Systems Theory: Lessons from the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

,

4
  • Assmuth T
  • Chen X
  • Degelling C
  • et al.
Integrative Health Concepts and Practices in Transdisciplinary Social Ecology.

One Health was first adopted by major health agencies over a decade ago to promote interdisciplinary collaborations between researchers and biomedical practitioners, and then progressively with environmental and social science workers, with the aim of establishing a more societal responsibility for health. of man and of the entire planetary ecosystem. One Health is integrated with the concept of EcoHealth, which further extends the scope to complex human-environment systems.
5
  • Zinstag J
  • Waltner-Toews D
  • Tanner M
The theoretical issues of One Health.

This broader concept of health in socio-ecological systems has gained momentum, adopting a transdisciplinary research-action posture and converging with the sciences of sustainability. Socio-ecological systems have formalized and explicitly defined resilience as a property of complex adaptive systems, the theoretical and practical validity of which is now supported by hundreds of case examples from various socio-ecological systems.

3
  • Wilcox BA
  • Aguirre AA
  • By Paula N.
  • Siriaroonrat B
  • Scaffold P
Operationalizing One Health Using Socio-Ecological Systems Theory: Lessons from the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

However, the word resilience is often used in a health context without clear reference to this dimension of socio-ecological systems, or any other explicit definition. The term resilience is particularly confusing in the fields of public and animal health, in which resilience has several different meanings.

6
Landscape dynamics and control of infectious diseases: the question of integrating health into coviability.

Use of the term resilience in the context of environmental health systems should be accompanied by a clear specification of whether or not its meaning is consistent with the social-ecological systems framework. It is essential to overcome fundamental ambiguities in the framing of One Health, i.e. whether it is about the resilience of socio-ecological systems or the health of humans, animals and the environment. biophysics in the context of socio-ecological systems. a number of challenges to its practical implementation as a transdisciplinary concept.

3
  • Wilcox BA
  • Aguirre AA
  • By Paula N.
  • Siriaroonrat B
  • Scaffold P
Operationalizing One Health Using Socio-Ecological Systems Theory: Lessons from the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

,

7
  • Antoine Moussiaux N
  • Janssens de Bisthoven L
  • Leyens S
  • et al.
The good, the bad and the ugly: framing debates about nature in a One Health community.

Without a more explicit framing as complex systems, One Health ambitions are likely to fail most of the time in the implementation phase due to functional mismatches between management scale and service scale. managed processes.
8
  • Cumming GS
  • Cumming DHM
  • Redman C
Scale mismatches in socio-ecological systems: causes, consequences and solutions.

Public health and veterinary services are generally not organized or equipped to operate according to the hierarchical organization of ecosystems.

6
Landscape dynamics and control of infectious diseases: the question of integrating health into coviability.

These scale mismatches between the ecological and social changes that drive the emergence and spread of disease, and the scale at which epidemiological surveillance and effective management of health and nature occur, impede the adaptive governance needed linked socio-ecological systems.

8
  • Cumming GS
  • Cumming DHM
  • Redman C
Scale mismatches in socio-ecological systems: causes, consequences and solutions.

Similar causal mismatches are also associated with inadequate response, in which proximal responses to health crises (e.g. emergency responses to COVID-19) fail to address their distal causes, which are often rooted at higher levels. within socio-ecological systems (e.g. environmental and social injustices leading to overexploitation and extinction of biodiversity).

9
  • Wallace RG
  • Bergman L.
  • Kock R
  • et al.
The dawn of structural health: a new science that tracks the emergence of disease along the circuits of capital.

In the era following the emergence of COVID-19, policymakers, funders and the general public will demand that health-environment system risk management go beyond routine measures. One Health can respond to this request provided it removes its ambiguities. At the local level, where direct interactions between humans, livestock, wildlife and other components of biodiversity occur, implementing One Heath requires transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration with local communities and stakeholders, to understand and mitigate environmental and epidemiological risks. National agencies for public health, veterinary medicine and environmental services are typically centralized and organized in silos, hampering the integration needed to enable effective and inclusive engagement and collaboration among stakeholders. One Health governance should adopt appropriate participatory processes to include, at a minimum, communities, non-governmental organizations and other public or private entities for bottom-up monitoring and management, from local to national. Regionally and internationally, One Health as a policy tool is hampered by the same framing ambiguities and is structurally unbalanced. The challenges of the human and animal health sectors are legitimately and effectively represented within the tripartite coalition WHO – World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which are the UN agencies that currently run One Health. But wildlife and the environment are neglected,
ten
Environment: the neglected component of the One Health triad.

and the framing of One Health as a complex human-environment system is absent. We suggest that the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which hosts the secretariats of several international environmental conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, be included in the One Health coalition with WHO, OIE and FAO. Through its mandate on international environmental governance, UNEP could facilitate the necessary articulation of health challenges with the Sustainable Development Goals,

3
  • Wilcox BA
  • Aguirre AA
  • By Paula N.
  • Siriaroonrat B
  • Scaffold P
Operationalizing One Health Using Socio-Ecological Systems Theory: Lessons from the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

anchor the One Health approach in a broader initiative to achieve a healthy planet for all.

We declare no competing interests. This work was carried out within the framework of the Production and Conservation in Partnership and Emerging Risks Management research platforms in Southeast Asia.

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