Veterinary Public Health: The Planetary Path to One Health

Veterinary Public Health: The Planetary Path to One Health

Utpal Das (The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6304-4.ch005
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Health and disease have always co-existed with man and animal. One medicine concept was developed in ancient times as recorded in the writings of Greek and Roman scholars. In the ecological context, animal activities tend to influence welfare of man in a number of ways and vice versa. The veterinarians are the only healthcare professionals likely to see both people and their animals and aware of the potential threat of zoonotic infections to clients. History behind conceptualization of veterinary public health to one health is discussed thoroughly, and eventually, veterinary public health is referred to as the planetary route and path to one health.
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The animal rearing is slowly getting transformed by the primitive system to “animal husbandry” in close human proximity and this has psychological advantages like opportunity for physical and mental occupation of millions of landless folk, marginal farmers and small holders enhancing opportunities for efficient passage of animal pathogens to human communities and vice-versa. Day by day, association of human and animal are becoming intimate, which increase exposure to risk of inter-transmissibility of diseases between man and animal (zoonoses). Veterinary and human medicine have interacted over centuries in the comparative aspects of clinical medicine, physiology, pathology and population medicine. The activities dealing with zoonoses, supply of disease-free livestock products to human community, studies pertaining to environmental health, ecology, patho-biology, toxicology and so on may be classified within the umbrella of veterinary public health activities. Zoonoses are the most significant and biologically heterogeneous group of communicable diseases that are caused by different group of pathogens. Moreover, the list of zoonotic infection is expanding with the availability of better serological techniques for identifying new pathogens of man and animal across the globe. Modern perspectives of Veterinary Public Health have evolved through the pioneering work of M. Kaplan in the WHO and J.H. Steele (regarded as Father of Veterinary Public Health) in the USA. Veterinary Public Health is a vital component of public health relates to the efforts, services and the inputs of veterinarians for finding solutions to human health problems of animal origin. The main issue of concern of veterinary public health is human health influenced by animals, whereas the central issue of veterinary medicine is only animal health and welfare. Hence, veterinary public health is a branch of public health rather than veterinary medicine. The One Health Concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and environment. The potentiation of working together to produce an effort greater than the work of any individual discipline will advance better health care for the 21st century and beyond, by intensifying the biomedical research discoveries, aiming at the public health effectiveness, particularly extending the scientific knowledge base to meliorate the education and clinical care. When properly implemented, it will help protect and save untold millions of lives in our present and future generation.

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