Pastoralists. Image courtesy of Esther Schelling, Swiss TPH.
One of a series of blogs written by CABI editors for One Health Day on November 3rd 2016
It's always nice to meet up with a CABI author at a conference especially when they are giving a talk around a theme dear to CABI‘s heart, namely “One Health”: the concept of working across the interface of animal, plant, human and environment to achieve health & development which is sustainable and fair. CABI has been gathering, managing and generating research information across all these sectors since 1912. We know “its all connected”.
The conference was the RSTMH biennial meeting [Cambridge UK, Sept 12-16th, 2016], and the author in question, Esther Schelling, co-editor of CABI’s book One Health: The Theory and Practice of Integrated Health Approaches . To read a free e-chapter, use this link.
In One Health beyond early detection and control of zoonoses Esther talked about her long-time project with nomadic pastoralists in Chad and a rift valley fever (RVF) control project in Kenya. She drew attention to the need for:
- more interdisciplinary studies to include an evaluation of One Health working
- involvement of social scientists
- engagement of key stakeholders
And tellingly she provided a cost-benefit analysis to society of controlling zoonoses when the disease is in its animal host before it infects human beings.
Those cost-benefit analyses made a deep impression on the delegates, many of whom were involved in neglected zoonotic tropical diseases. Perhaps for the first time they were appreciating the added benefits and synergies that a transdisciplinary approach between science, society, humanities and medicine could bring.