Whilst already dealing with pressing environmental issues like climate change and ecosystem degradation, the world has been grappling with several health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic, threats of zoonotic diseases like rabies and ebola, superbugs, and food safety. To tackle these pressing challenges, the One Health approach is seen as the main solution. The One Health approach recognises that the health of humans, animals, and the environment is interconnected and stresses upon the need for multi-sectoral collaboration to prevent future global threats.
To address these pressing challenges, the Quadripartite organisations, consisting of the Food and Agriculture Organization, of the United Nations (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), have called for enhanced global action on the One Health approach. Meeting physically for the first time in Geneva, the Quadripartite leaders stressed upon the need for collaboration and commitment to translate the One Health approach into policy action in all countries.
As reported by the UNEP, the leaders urged all countries and key stakeholders to “prioritise One Health in the international political agenda, increase understanding, and advocate for the adoption of enhanced intersectoral health governance”. The Quadripartite organisations also called for the strengthening of “national One Health policies in line with the Quadripartite One Health Joint Plan of Action (OH JPA), to foster wider implementation across relevant sectors and at all levels.”
They also urged the acceleration of One Health plans and the building of intersectoral One Health workforces to “prevent, detect, control, and respond to health threats in a timely and effective way.” To prevent pandemics and health threats at source, the Quadripartite organisations encouraged strengthening “One Health scientific knowledge and evidence creation and exchange, research and development, technology transfer and sharing, and integrating of information and data.”