Maasai father and son tend to their cattle in Kenya

Maasai father and son tend to their cattle in their paddock in Kitengela, Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

Zoonoses account for 60% of human diseases, but traditional divisions between human, livestock and environmental health sectors undermine their control. This has led to calls for greater intersectoral cooperation through an approach known as One Health.

The cover story of the December 2014 – January 2015 issue of CTA’s Spore magazine focuses on the One Health approach to tackling zoonoses and highlights some examples of One Health research by the Food Safety and Zoonoses program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Read the Spore article, Together in sickness and health

Smallholder pig production in northern Viet Nam

Farmer Ma Thi Puong feeds her pigs on her farm near the northern town of Mieu Vac, Vietnam (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

One Health is an interdisciplinary approach to combating emerging infectious diseases by addressing the complex interactions of human health, animal health and the environment.

The One Health approach encourages the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, regionally and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

Seventy-five per cent of all new, emerging or re-emerging diseases affecting humans at the beginning of the 21st century originated in animals.These zoonotic diseases present serious public health, economic and development challenges.

The subject of One Health took centre stage during the August 2013 International Symposium of Health Sciences (i-SIHAT 2013) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In a keynote presentation at the start of the symposium, Hung-Nguyen Viet – a researcher at the Center for Public Health and Ecosystem Research (CENPHER) at the Hanoi School of Public Health who is on a joint appointment at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) – discussed a regional One Health initiative in Southeast Asia and how this integrated approach is working to develop the capacity of universities to respond to the threat of emerging infectious diseases.

View the presentation, One Health – an interdisciplinary approach in combating emerging diseases