Looking at the Interaction Between People, Animals and the Environment from a multidisciplinary perspective

The Lancet One Health Commission was launched on the 9th and 10th of May 2019 in Oslo, supported by the Centre for Global Health at University of Oslo (UiO). The Lancet has nominated the two co-chairs: Dr. John Amuasi, Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, and Prof. Andrea Winkler, Centre for Global Health at UiO and Center for Global Health at the Technical University of Munich. A core group comprising of staff from the Centre for Global Health at UiO, WHO and Imperial College is driving the direction, design and implementation of the Commission. Scientists from all over the world gathered for the first meeting of the Lancet One Health Commission.

Andrea Winkler, one of the two chairs of the Lancet One Health Commission. Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO.

Adopted goals and main theme

The members decided that the Commission’s main theme should be to improve human, animal and ecosystem health through integrated approaches.

In addition, the delegates adopted the Commission’s objectives. These objectives will lead the way for how the Commission and each working group will move forward over the next few years. The objectives include demonstrating the opportunities, challenges and value proposition for an integrated approach to multispecies health and sustainable economic development in the 21st century.

In addition, they will synthesize evidence for the value of an integrated approach to multispecies health around the shared environment, food safety, shared medicines and intervention with an emphasis on infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

Focus on shared environment, safe food and the sharing of medicines and interventions

The Commission established three working groups. Each group will work on one part of the Commission’s tasks over the next two years. The groups will look at these topics:

  • Shared environment
  • Safe food and food systems
  • Shared medicines and interventions

The Commission’s main task will be to produce a scientific report published in The Lancet with recommendations for the implementation of One Health based on this work.
At the core of the Commission is the inclusion of multiple disciplines and sectors.

– “It was important to include experts from multiple disciplines, including life sciences and social sciences and experts working on communicable as well as non-communicable diseases. It was also important to include work on how these two disease types interact,” says Andrea Winkler, co-chair of the Commission.

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