One Health Global Day: training for a unique health
3rd November 2022 marks the seventh World One Health Day, a global campaign that celebrates and draws attention to the need for a holistic approach to address shared health challenges at the human-animal-environment interface. One Health can address a wide range of issues that today undermine public health globally, such as antimicrobial resistance, environmental health, food safety, mental health, vector-borne diseases, zoonotic diseases and much more.
One Health is a collaborative, multi-sectoral and transdisciplinary approach – operating at local, regional, national and global levels – that aims to achieve optimal health outcomes by recognizing the interconnectedness between people, animals, plants and their shared environment. The purpose of One Health Day is to enable experts and the community to join forces in education and awareness of these issues, through communication, coordination and collaboration between partners working in animal, human and environmental health, as well as in other relevant areas.
One Health every day: training in the Emilia-Romagna Region
Among the universities of the Region, the University of Bologna is at the forefront of Unique Health with various initiatives ranging from training to research and technology transfer projects.
The One Health Study Center -UNIBO, for example, is the Italian group of the UNA-OH initiative of the UNA EUROPA alliance: it pursues education and research objectives and supports the transfer of knowledge on a scientific basis for the benefit of society. The One Health approach is considered necessary to achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 identified by the United Nations, as health is a prerequisite and indicator of sustainable development. The activities of the center are therefore consistent with the Strategies for Sustainable Development of the University of Bologna. For this reason, the UNIB-OH Center is gathering a network of professionals with a strong commitment to improving the health and well-being of humans and animals in a sustainable environment.
The University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, together with the University Hospital of Modena, the Local Health Unit of Modena and the Association of Doctors for the Environment of Modena (ISDE), organizes a Specialization Course on the theme “Food, health and sustainability: insights for operators in the field of health and environment” started in October. The aim is to promote the concept of “One-Health”, which reminds us that “the health of humans, animals and the environment are the same thing”. The teachers of the course are professionals and experts from different fields, such as public health, animal health, plant health, economics and the environment. In this way, a competent professional figure will be formed in the field of healthy lifestyles, including not only nutrition, but also respect for the environment and sustainability, which are of great importance in the prevention and promotion of health.
Not only training
And speaking of food, nutrition and health , one of the hot topics when it comes to One Health, antimicrobial resistance and infections, in June the international event ONE – Health, Environment, Society – Conference 2022 “co-organized by EFSA, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was held, the European Environment Agency (EEA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The conference brought together scientists, experts and other stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to frame food security in the broader perspective of sustainable food systems, discuss the opportunities and challenges in implementing a One Health approach and explore new developments in risk assessment science.
Within the recovery and resilience plan (PNRR), moreover, we also talk about how to change the structure of health care in a One Health perspective, reorganizing interventions and spaces precisely in order to provide a new model of territorial proximity assistance to bring the answers to health needs as close as possible to citizens. Among the bases for this change there is also the definition of a new institutional structure for prevention on the territory in the health, environmental and climate fields, in line with an integrated approach (One Health) and with a holistic vision (Planetary Health).