From the times immemorial humans and animals have lived in companionship with each other and with the environment surrounding them. Humans fulfilled almost all of their needs from animals, lived with them, earned from them, used them as source of protection and what not. The early humans along with the animals and the environment lived as one family. But with modernization and industrialization man prefer to be in places isolated from animals and the natural environment tagging himself to be civilized. But eventually it was realized that there could be no route to isolation of human from its entangled parts i.e., animals and the environment. All the three components has to be treated and protected as one in order to attain the peace, harmony and sustainability on this planet.
The one health initiative is the best way to understand and apply this concept of oneness. It is a mission that seeks to promote, improve and defend the health and wellbeing of all species along with the environment which contains them. This motive is dedicated to improve over all living system of our planets. It is to be achieved by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians, veterinarians and other scientific health and environmental professionals by promoting strengths in leadership and management to achieve these goals. One Health itself, as a self-consciously labelled set of activities and agendas, has emerged out of a complex and rapidly shifting coalition of international health bodies, veterinary associations, academic advocates, environmental organizations and pharmaceutical companies. One health is not a new concept but it has become more important in recent years because many factors have changed the interactions between humans, animals and the environment. It presents a holistic vision to address the complex challenges that threaten human and animal health, food security, poverty and the environments where diseases flourish. These problems threaten global health and economic wellbeing including international trade.
By continuous increase in the world population, it also expands geographically and with this there is need for more land to adjust more humans. Due to deforestation, climate change and urbanization the contact between humans and animals has increased more than it used to be normally. The problem is complicated with the less knowledge and awareness among people about the health threats associated with it. The outcome is the constant rise of the emerging and re- emerging diseases. One health concept is important because 6 out of every 10 infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals as reported by CDC (Centre for Disease Control) & 75% of these emerging and re-emerging diseases are zoonotic or vector borne. The zoonotic diseases has became the biggest threat worldwide. The emergence and re-emergence of the zoonotic diseases is associated with complex factors, such as recombination and mutation leading to more virulent and adaptive strains, urbanization and human activities creating more permissive environment for vetor-host interactions like Chickungunya fever and Dengue, and increased air travel and commerce like Ebola, Swine flu, Bird flu. Epidemics or pandemics caused by these disease agents take a heavy troll of life and spread rapidly across the borders, and are responsible for concern, panic and have created a grave economic , developmental and security challenge. The parasitic zoonosis and bacterial zoonosis are adding more to the problem. The other areas of threat to human health included food and feed supplies having high risk of food borne disease agents where vigilant protection is needed. Water bodies have been degraded through the pharmaceuticals, use of fertilizers, pesticides has increased risk of health and environmental threats. The antibiotic resistance forms link between animals, humans and the environment. The emergence of the drug resistance such as multidrug resistant and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis, malaria resistant to artemisinin-combination therapy is a new global challenge. The antibiotics used to treat and prevent bacterial infections in animals belong to the same chemical group as those used for humans. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animals or humans are contribution in creating the antibiotic resistance in both. As humans are the regular consumers of the animal products in one way or the other and the use of antibiotics in animals can cause effect in humans. To develop an effective way to prevent further creation of antibiotic resistant bacteria there has to be judicious and a wise use of antibiotics in both species.
There is an immediate need to integrate the related professionals of the human, animal and the environmental health in order to have better understanding of diseases that occur by interaction between humans, animals and the environment. These interlinked professionals need to work as one to find an effective way to prevent and control these diseases may it be zoonotic diseases, food borne diseases, antibiotic resistance or the hazards present in our environment. We all are the important parts of this one health mission and here contribution of every human counts. The most trusted professionals for saving the lives of humans and animals i.e., medicos and veterinarians have to take the most active part. One health mission is of no use if we don’t reach and teach the people at the grass root level how to protect the animals, humans and the environment from all the interactive hazardous conditions. One health mission will remain a bookish concept until every animal keeper is educated about the health threats to his/her health from animals and environment and vice versa. Until a farmer gets well educated about the concept of zoonotic diseases he/she can get and transmit during their dealings with the animals. Until farmers are not well educated about link between the zoonotic diseases like Tuberculoses, Listeriosis, Brucellosis etc. and their dealing with animals. Until the indiscriminate use of drugs in humans and animals is checked and people are made aware about the adverse effect of antibiotics, pharmaceuticals used by them. Until the hazards by animal products and the zoonotic disease transmitted by animals is checked from very early stage at slaughter houses and milk cooperative by the concerned veterinary officials. Until we develop a strong coordination for the control of new and highly pathogenic strains of different emerging and re-emerging diseases for which the involved animals, humans and the environment is needed to be studied in depth to reach an effective conclusion. One health mission is not to be kept up to big organizations like WHO, FAO, OIE , CDC or up to the developed nations or up to the respective professions . It is not to be kept confined up to our collaboration in labs, seminars and conferences. The collaboration is needed in reaching every human, every corner of world to aware people about this concept and to make it a successful one in order to prevent ourselves from any biological disaster in future. All of us may it be the professionals, farmers, teachers, youth or women can help in making this mission successful. Every little contribution counts may it be sharing every little knowledge with each other, by taking this concept to every family, every children, every farmer as responsible citizens of this globe. To achieve goals of the one health concept we have to work as one in every possible way.