OHHLEP – An approach to prepare for future pandemics
One Health is a concept based on interconnections among humans, animals and the environment. Due to shared environments, infectious agents such as viruses adapt themselves and move between species. Zoonotic diseases are contagious diseases transmitted to humans from animals or vice versa, like COVID-19, Ebola and HIV etc.
It is currently estimated that many emerging infectious diseases in humans have an animal origin. The COVID-19 pandemic underlines that human health is fundamentally interconnected with the health of other animals (domestic and wild) throughout our shared environment. Therefore the emergence of the concept.
The health of all living organisms, when rapidly altered and imbalanced, puts us all at risk for future pandemics.
FAO ( Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), OIE ( World Organisation for Animal Health ) and WHO ( World Health Organization ), the tripartite, and recently The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) collaborated to establish the One Health High-Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP) in Dec 2021. It aims to achieve sustainable health outcomes for people, animals, and ecosystems since everyone is closely linked and interdependent. The collaboration across sectors will help address challenges like the emergence of diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and how to promote the health of our ecosystems.
OHHLEP consists of 26 independent experts selected by four international organisations. As of now, the Global Plan of Action for One Health is in development.