In the context of One Health, SDG 17 (Partnerships for the goals) is particularly important because it acknowledges the interconnectedness of health issues and the need for a holistic, collaborative approach to addressing them. One Health, a concept that recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, is a critical component of this approach.
On one hand, we know that One Health is the concept and understanding that recognizes the interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health. As such, it realizes that addressing health issues in one area can have a positive impact on the others. For example, reducing air pollution can improve respiratory health for both humans and animals, while controlling the spread of zoonotic diseases can protect both human and animal populations.
On the other hand, we must consider how critical SDG 17 is to achieve a global One Health approach because of how it emphasizes the importance of collaboration and cooperation among all stakeholders. To address the complex health challenges of the 21st century, it is essential to bring together experts from multiple sectors, including public health, animal health, environmental health, and others. Collaboration across these sectors can lead to more effective and coordinated approaches to addressing and preventing health challenges.
Many of the most serious health challenges facing the world today, such as pandemics and emerging infectious diseases, require a coordinated global response. No single country or organization can address these challenges alone, and effective, global partnerships are essential for sharing information, coordinating responses, and mobilizing resources when required.
A great example of a partnership directly related to One Health is the One Health Quadripartite Alliance. This alliance is a collaboration between four international organizations, namely the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The alliance aims to promote a global One Health approach and the strengthening of capacities for early detection and response to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, foodborne illnesses, and other health threats at the human-animal-environment interface. They also collaborate to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and to address the impacts of climate change on human, animal, and environmental health.
Another successful partnership for global health is the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), launched in 2014. The GHSA is a partnership of more than 50 countries, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations that aims to strengthen global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. Through the GHSA, partners work together to share information, build capacity, and improve preparedness for infectious disease outbreaks.
Lastly, we can mention the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which was established in 2017 in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. CEPI is a partnership of governments, philanthropic organizations, and private sector companies that aims to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases. By bringing together expertise and resources from multiple sectors, CEPI has been able to develop promising vaccine candidates for diseases such as COVID-19 and Lassa fever.
In conclusion, SDG 17 and One Health are concepts that can be closely related given the emphasis on the importance of collaboration and cooperation in addressing global health challenges. One Health recognizes the interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health, and SDG 17 emphasizes the need for partnerships among all stakeholders.
By: Alejandro Sanchez MDP | Communications and Engagement Specialist