Reflecting on One Health in Action During the COVID-19 Response

Häsler, B and Bazeyo, W and Byrne, A W and Hernandez-Jover, M and More, S J and Rüegg, S R and Schwarzmann, O and Wilson, J and Yawe, A (2020) Reflecting on One Health in Action During the COVID-19 Response. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7. ISSN 2297-1769

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The COVID-19 pandemic, a singular disruptive event in recent human history, has required rapid, innovative, coordinated and collaborative approaches to manage and ameliorate its worst impacts. However, the threat remains, and learning from initial efforts may benefit the response management in the future. One Health approaches to managing health challenges through multi-stakeholder engagement are underscored by an enabling environment. Here we describe three case studies from state (New South Wales, Australia), national (Ireland), and international (sub-Saharan Africa) scales which illustrate different aspects of One Health in action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ireland, a One Health team was assembled to help parameterise complex mathematical and resource models. In New South Wales, state authorities engaged collaboratively with animal health veterinarians and epidemiologists to leverage disease outbreak knowledge, expertise and technical and support structures for application to the COVID-19 emergency. The African One Health University Network linked members from health institutions and universities from eight countries to provide a virtual platform knowledge exchange on COVID-19 to support the response. Themes common to successful experiences included a shared resource base, interdisciplinary engagement, communication network strategies, and looking global to address local need. The One Health approaches used, particularly shared responsibility and knowledge integration, are benefiting the management of this pandemic and future One Health global challenges.

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