In conjunction with World Rabies Day efforts, Dr. Michael Cates, DVM, raised awareness about the One Health Commission at the 2009 Merial Rabies Symposium. Held on
“At least 60 percent of known pathogens, such as the one causing rabies, and approximately 75 percent of newly emerging human infectious diseases may be shared among multiple species, such as with wildlife and domesticated animals," Cates said, “which means that medical, veterinary, and environmental experts should be working more closely together toward better diagnostic, preventive or treatment measures."
One Health is the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines - working locally, nationally, and globally - to address critical challenges and attain optimal health for people, domestic animals, wildlife, and our environment. To promote this endeavor, the One Health Commission was established to foster closer professional interactions, collaborations, and educational opportunities across the health sciences professions, together with their related disciplines, to improve the health of people, animals, and our environment.
During the Symposium, Cates identified examples of where One Health currently exists and where it is desperately needed. "Some universities and government agencies are very much focused on One Health efforts, and World Rabies Day is a great example of these groups creating a platform to engage the public in this endeavor. The One Health Commission hopes to broaden the academic presence, get global public health and animal health organizations actively involved, and encourage
The One Health Commission's main purposes are to develop, implement, and sustain an integrated strategy for improved public health based on principles of One Health; create national and international awareness of the power of One Health to improve the health of people, domestic animals, wildlife and our environment; and illustrate the value of implementing One Health principles.
The Commission's initial action plan calls for hosting a national One Health Summit this fall and conducting a National Academies study on "one health" in 2010. The study will examine the interactions of humans, animals, and the environment in broad terms, which can lead to improvements in human health, animal health, and environmental quality.
The One Health Commission incorporated as a nonprofit organization on June 29, and initial funding for the creation of the One Health Commission includes a grant provided by The Rockefeller Foundation.
For more information, visit the One Health Commission Web site.