Metrics for One Health benefits: key inputs to create an economic evidence base
Barbara Haesler, Jonathan Rushton, Laura Cornelsen, Bhavani Shankar
LSHTM, RVC, SOAS
Since 2008 a number meetings have taken place and documents produced (Food and Agriculture Organisation/World Animal Health Organisation/World Health Organisation 2008; Chatham House 2010; Canadian Public Health Agency 2009; World Bank 2010) that have raised the need for a more holistic approach to problems that affect the health of humans, animals and the general environment.
Such an approach is not new, but the need for it has been given a much sharper focus with the increasing incidence of diseases that have the potential of creating large economic impacts, human deaths and losses of environmental diversity.
The articulation of the need to adopt a One Health approach was accepted at a meeting of governments (IMCAPI) in Hanoi in April 2010.
This was followed by a meeting in Stone Mountain, Georgia, USA to discuss how One Health can be operationalised. One of the recommendations of that meeting was the need for a document that clearly presents an investment strategy for One Health. Whilst the authors acknowledge the ongoing work in this area, the general feeling is that the One Health approach is still some way from being main stream with human and animal health policy making. The questions that come to mind are:
- Why is One Health not main stream?
- If One Health is important, how can the case for a major paradigm shift be more persuasively presented?
- An objective was set to present a business case for One Health that involved the following activities:
- Literature review of the impact of the major issues
- Workshop of experts in the area of public and animal health who have a strong interest in One Health
- Preparation of a document from the meeting on One Health metrics as a based for a RVC document looking at a business case for One Health that includes information on developing country case studies