Throughout the world, the remarkable progress of medical care, doubled by better living conditions, forecast continuously increasing life expectancy almost everywhere.
In contrast to this positive development, human health disorders increase in volume, diversify and, implicitly, the costs and the efforts to maintain GoodHealth Condition keep growingand consuming huge resources, that are hardly sustainable.
Within this context, a new medical concept – « One Health » – is being launched worldwide, in order to discover the roots of disease progression, as well as the means of spread, and to look for adequate solutions in those domains in which human health is increasingly threatened.
« One Health » CONCEPT
« One Health » concept represents a health approach that focuses on interactions among people, animals, plants and various environments.
The concept calls for the collaboration, synergy and cooperation of all professional sectors and actors, in general, whose activities may have an impact on health.
“One Health” concept implies subsuming the efforts and the achievements recorded by Human Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Environmental Medicine and Nutritional Medicine and translating them into medical practice in the service of a unique goal, One Health for all, for man and everything surrounding him, Animals, Plants and the Environment.
The concept, under various forms, extends back to antiquity. The acknowledgement of the fact that environmental factors may have an impact on health was recordedby the Greek physician Hippocrates (460 BC – 370 BC) who promoted the concept that public health depends on a clean environment.
Later on, the Italian physician Giovanni Maria Lancisi (1654-1720), a pioneer in epidemiology, and a veterinarian as well, laid emphasis on the role of the physical environment in the spread of disease in humans and animals.
“One Health” concept has been recently used in its full form, starting from the year 2003, in connection with Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, by William Karesh, who has made the following statement:”Humans or livestock or wildlife health cannot be discussed in isolation. There is only one health. And the finding of solutions requires everyone working together on all different levels. ”
Together with two colleagues W. Karesh has subsequently given a series of lectures around the world on the theme of One World – One Health.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONCEPT
The United States of America
In 2008 the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) agreed upon the establishment of “One Health Commission.”
On the other hand, “One Health Initiative” is the website that stores news and information on “One Health”. The promoting agencies, American Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, The American Association of Public Health Physicians, The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and The U.S. National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) as well as more than 800 prominent scientists, physicians and veterinarians around the world (from about 90 countries, including Romania) have all joined the initiative.
In 2011 the first International “One Health”Congress was held in Australia and in 2013 the second International “One Health” Congress took place in Thailand.
In May 2015, the first Global “One Health” Congress was held in Madrid.
The European Union
Since 2008, the EU has promoted the One Health concept approach that is integrated in a numberof EU policy documents.
One Health is to be found as a single item under discussion on the agenda of the annual session of the Federation of European Academies of Medicine, organized in Bucharest by the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences in May 2014.
In Romania, more than in any other EU country, there are institutional concerns, some of them listed as European Union priorities, relating to the treatment ofinteractions among animals, humans, plants and various environments.
Within this context, mention should be made of the setting up of:
• The Institute of Comparative Medicine (1999) atThe University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Bucharest, with subsidiaries in Cluj and Timișoara
• The Romanian Society of Comparative Oncology (1999) that became The National Forum of Comparative Oncology (2010), a subsidiary of The Mediterranean Forum of Comparative Oncology (2009)
• The Department of Comparative Medicine at the Romanian Academy (1995)
• The Department of Comparative Medicine at the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences (2014)
• The National Forum of Comparative Medicine (2014)
• The post-graduate course on Comparative Medicine (2014) atthe University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine from Bucharest and the University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Cluj.
The newly established “One Health – New Medical Concept” Associationshall focus on the establishing primary prophylaxis for human and animal diseases through studying, monitoring, surveying and disseminating the information related to aspects of global pathology within the environment-plant-animal (livestock, wildlife and pets) – man chain. Furthermore, all aspects related to food safety, the manufacturing of medicines and pharmaceutical products, including bio-products (vaccines) are the first and foremost things to be taken into consideration. All these are the basic elements that constitute the new “One Health” concept.
“ONE HEALTH” COMMANDMENTS
The major commandments are imposed upon the following domains:
1. Comparative Medicine, that is, a synergy of Human Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, that has to be reconsidered and imposed upon medical practice as an efficientand operational platform in the research of diseases, in the design and validation of treatment strategies.
Taking into account the fact that about 60-70% of human diseases originate in ”animal pathology” and the perils are common to humans and animals, appropriate measures should be undertaken.
- Food Safety, namely, the analysis of the role and the importance of nutrition as a general norm, in the early stages of the disease, then of treatment and post-treatment.
The spectacular development of technology in the medical domain and the pharmaceutical industry has led to the neglect of the role and the importance of nutrition as a source of health and equilibrium.
- Environmental Medicine, that is, a full-responsibility approach to this huge organism that governs our life, which has to become a health priority.
- Occupational Medicine
- Nutritional Medicine
In order to support all the above mentioned, it is mandatory toelaborate and implement The New National and European Regulations aiming to a greater extent at:
• Comparative Medicine, Nutritional Medicine and Environmental Medicine
• Techniques and procedures apt to be licensed
• The information and education of the population
• The Academic Curricula and the complementary qualification of the medical staff
Experts from all domains of activity are invited to give answers and design preliminary future directions within specific research, training and promotion programmes.
All these justify the claim of establishing in Romania a Research and Training Centre meant to focus on the fundamental research in the respective domain and to issue a set of European regulations under the One Health concept imperative.
The challenge lying ahead of us is to achieve in record time the neglected element nowadays in Romania, namely the GENERAL PROPHYLAXIS FOR DISEASES IN HUMANS, ANIMALS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FOR FOOD AND OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY, as well as an appropriate legislation.