One Health: A Primer (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)
Public health events are best dealt with in an interdisciplinary manner with many actors and agencies involved, each lending their expertise to solve the complex problem. Many examples exist of agencies working across boundaries to solve significant public health issues, but the examples are less frequent of agencies that work cross-disciplines. It is not a matter of desire, but one of tradition. In recent years, the concept of One Health has become more common within public health circles. The One Health approach attempts to recognize that numerous disciplines across many sectors are required to solve the complex problems facing public health. They recognize most significant public health problems cannot be solved using the epidemiological triangle and can only be solved using a multi-approach. One Health takes a holistic approach to address human, animal, and ecosystem health. One Health emphasizes multi-sector, transdisciplinary action across professions to ensure well-being within human, animal, and ecosystem interfaces. This paper will provide an overview of One Health, the evolution of the movement, and the current challenges. Also, this paper will showcase the application of One Health through the Canadian response to West Nile virus and will conclude with recommendations and steps forward.