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As stated in his 1984 textbook, Veterinary Medicine and Human Health, Calvin Schwabe, the father of Veterinary Epidemiology, highlighted that the critical needs of man as a species include the combating of diseases, improved food security, adequate environmental quality and a society in which their humane values prevail. This is especially true for the 21st century world where endemic and/or neglected zoonoses (e.g., rabies, monkey-pox) are growing concerns in developing nations; and credible evidences support statistics that reveal how the increased transit of people, goods and services and wildlife between developed and undeveloped countries raise the likelihood of novel and neglected diseases spreading geographically and across species worldwide.

Consequently, the ‘One Health’ framework was put forward for tackling global health issues with key emphasis on complete realignment of professional values and goals towards the three pillars of health – animal, human and environmental health. Regrettably, anthropocentric health commitments, minimal knowledge of what works or doesn’t work institutionally, and lack of commitment from key stakeholders, frequently hamper the effectiveness of the One Health approach globally, and preventable/avoidable health issues continue to peak in incidence.

It is against the above background and with zeal for the transformation of health values that Dr Dauda Onawola, a Public Health Veterinarian, assisted by like-minded professional, founded the One Health in Action Initiative (OHiA) with a core priority of operationalizing the One Health approach in tackling key health issues.

At OHiA, core obligations revolve around the following:

  • An integrated and holistic approach to human, animal and environmental health.
  • Creation of cognizance among policy makers, practitioners and funders about the effective capacity of sustainable ‘One Health’ frameworks in solving global health challenges.
  • Induction of collaborative community-level actions for effective and sustainable control and treatment responses in this increasingly populous and globalized world

The world’s rapidly changing, likewise the dynamics of infectious organisms, OHiA expects all professionals to step out of their silos; redefine their professional values and goals from concepts to practice; work together and make the world everyone dwells in a better place for future generations, and more to come.

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