Nov 2, 2022

One Health Day - Promoting a multidisciplinary approach

On Nov. 3 experts around the world working in animal, human and environmental health will be celebrating One Health Day to educate the public about the benefits of a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to the prevention, detection and response to public health threats. The One Health approach has made significant advances in addressing a wide range of public health concerns, including antimicrobial resistance, food safety, vector-borne and zoonotic diseases as well as COVID-19.

To recognize the significance of One Health Day and the experts working on a global scale to prevent the next pandemic, the Ohio State Global One Health initiative (GOHi) has organized a panel discussion, “What’s Next: Reimagining One Health Beyond the Pandemic,” which will be held virtually and in person at the Veterinary Medical Center Auditorium on Nov. 3 from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. EDT. Ohio State experts participating include: Michael Bisesi, College of Public Health, Sharon Santoso Clark, Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, Rebecca Garabed, College of Veterinary Medicine and Dónal O'Mathúna, College of Nursing, as well as Rafael Felipe da Costa Vieira, College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Paraná.

For more than a decade, GOHi has been at the forefront of One Health implementation, mobilizing faculty, staff and students from 13 colleges, to improve health, build capacity, address the spread of disease and emphasize the connection among humans, animals and the environment in Ohio and around the world.  

“The Global One Health paradigm is a proactive approach that builds institutional capacity to preemptively prepare and prevent the emergence and occurrence of biological and chemical hazards. Such a proactive approach is known to be cost-effective and will save a large number of human lives and improve livelihoods each year,” said Wondwossen Gebreyes, GOHi executive director. “Our priority is to strengthen and accelerate its high-impact, integrated capacity building approach through training, applied research, implementation, outreach and community engagement. This has mutually beneficial impact as solving our planet’s complex challenges necessitate it.”

As a result of GOHi’s many initiatives and advancements in the area of One Health and the growing interest and acknowledgement of the importance of One Health worldwide, Gebreyes regularly serves on international committees, advisory groups, and presents at universities. His involvement in One Health spans the globe and he currently serves as chair of the USAID One Health Workforce External Advisory Board, is a member of the Countering Zoonotic Spillover Committee of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, and later this month will participate in the World One Health Congress in Singapore.

2022 Highlights

  • Expanded advanced molecular diagnostic laboratory capabilities in Ethiopia. Using funding from U.S. federal sources, GOHi and partners established these labs located in five regions across Ethiopia. This will strengthen the national disease surveillance and response system by enabling the detection of infectious diseases such as influenza, COVID-19 and other pathogens of public health significance. Not only is GOHi putting laboratories in place but the team is also training laboratory staff and surveillance officers at the health center level to identify samples and test potential pathogens to prevent future pandemics. These new labs enable Ethiopia's health system to be resilient and better monitor, detect, identify, report and respond to epidemics and pandemics.
  • Trained current and future One Health practitioners, including laboratory workers, doctors and epidemiologists through the Global One Health Summer Institute. Over the last 10 years, GOHi and Ohio State faculty have trained more than 4,100 One Health practitioners from diverse disciplines including public health, veterinary medicine, medicine, agriculture, social science, data science and others. This year the Summer Institute, held from July 11 – Sept. 30, involved more than 70 trainers from five countries including the United States (50), Ethiopia (11), United Kingdom (6), Kenya (20) and Chile (2). These experts presented training modules and workshops to a wide variety of audiences across the world including the U.S., Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Worked with faculty at the University of Nairobi to establish a master’s degree program in bioethics. This project, funded through the National Institutes of Health, will train future One Health practitioners and prepare them to consider ethical, social and legal issues in healthcare decision-making.
  • GOHi and the Ohio State community hosted 27 Ethiopian university presidents and vice presidents for a Leadership, Management and Governance project sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. This cross-cutting activity is critical for strengthening leadership capabilities and facilitating partnerships that are crucial in effective implementation of complex One Health capacity building activities in Ethiopia.