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Economic benefits or drivers of a ‘One Health’ approach: Why should anyone invest?

Jonathan Rushton, Barbara Häsler, Nicoline de Haan, Ruth Rushton

Onderstepoort J Vet Res; Vol 79, No 2 (2012), 5 pages. doi: 10.4102/ojvr.v79i2.461

Submitted: 12 June 2012
Published:  20 June 2012


One Health concepts and ideas are some of the oldest in the health discipline, yet they have not become main stream. Recent discussions of the need for One Health approaches require some reflection on how to present a case for greater investments. The paper approaches this problem from the perspective of the control and management of resources for health in general. It poses the following questions, (1) where do we need extra resources for One Health, (2) where can we save resources through a One Health approach and (3) who has control of the resources that do exist for One Health? In answering these questions three broad areas are explored, (1) The management and resources allocated for diseases, (2) The isolation of parts of the society that require human and animal health services and (3) The use of resources and skills that are easily transferable between human and animal health.

The paper concludes that One Health approaches are applicable in many scenarios. However, the costs of getting people from different disciplines to work together in order to achieve a true One Health approach can be large. To generate tangible benefits requires careful management of specialist skills, knowledge and equipment, which can only be achieved by a greater openness of the human and animal health disciplines. Without this openness, policy makers will continue to doubt the real value of One Health. In summary the future success of One Health is about people working in the research, education and provision of health systems around the world embracing and managing change more effectively.

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Author affiliations

Jonathan Rushton, Animal Health Economics, RVC, United Kingdom
Barbara Häsler, Agrihealth, RVC and LCIRAH, United Kingdom
Nicoline de Haan, FAO, Rome, Italy
Ruth Rushton, Forensic Psychologist, Independent Consultant, United Kingdom


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ISSN: 0030-2465 (print) | ISSN: 2219-0635 (online)

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