One of the Centre’s core principles is that health security cannot be achieved without a One Health approach. Approximately 75 per cent of newly emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses (diseases that spread from animals to people) that result from various anthropogenic, genetic, ecologic, socioeconomic and climatic drivers.
One Health is an approach that recognises that the health of people, animals and the environment are interconnected. Across the Indo-Pacific, animal production systems are changing rapidly whilst animal health systems and their capacities to diagnose, treat and control diseases are generally weak and under-resourced. Ecological systems are also under strain from changing land use patterns and climatic effects. These factors pose major threats to human health.
One Health offers a holistic, integrated approach to answering complex questions surrounding human, animal and environmental health. The Centre for Health Security has two reasons for supporting a One Health approach. The first is the ongoing need for new methods of addressing and understanding complex health problems to overcome the severe health challenges which transcend both national borders and disciplinary boundaries. The second is for knowledge translation; converting research into practice to see an improvement in research outcomes with community members and policy makers.
The Centre will emphasise efforts to strengthen animal health systems and enhance collaboration between human health and veterinary sectors.
Examples of the Centre’s One Health approach include:
- Support to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Collaboration (Tripartite); and
- The Research for One Health Systems Strengthening Program – a group of research projects co-funded with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) addressing zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and systems strengthening within the Asia Pacific.