The current pandemic confirms the need for a new approach to health
The Covid-19 pandemic has outlined our human, institutional and environmental weaknesses, as well as pathways to increase resilience. It obliges us to accelerate economic, energy and ecological transitions towards sustainable development. It has shown that we are inadequately prepared against the emergence of infectious diseases that can only be contained through an integrated, equitable and global health approach. Accurately addressing health challenges requires considering the continuum between environment, animal and human health (One Health concept), without borders (Global Health concept), and regardless of wealth and cultural disparities (equal access). A holistic, multidisciplinary and multisector approach to human health is required, aligned with global values that foster equal access to all.
Human activities influence life in its entirety, animals and plants, as well as the environment. They cause changes that strongly affect our health and well-being. Increasingly more professionals become aware of the need for these issues to be addressed in an interdisciplinary manner, to speed up the specific rationale of each discipline, and to lead us to a coherent and global response to current challenges.
Universal health depends on multiple factors arising from the way our societies and our values are organised: governance, urbanisation, energy and industrial policies, mobility, farming practices, climate change, biotope alteration, vulnerabilities and impoverishment, food insecurity... Conversely, progress towards universal health will lead to synergies with all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (2030 SDGs), in terms not only of education and reduction of socio-economic inequalities, but also gender, environmental protection, etc. To attain the SGDs by 2030, it is mandatory to scale up to a truly integrated, equitable and global approach to achieve the collective good that is universal health. Which major programmes should be developed to hasten the achievement of the 2030 SDGs and protect us from new worldwide epidemics or any other kind of inequities and inequalities?
Today, a “One Sustainable Health” (OSH) approach, encompassing both “One Health” and “Global Health” concepts as well as equal and universal access to healthcare, is essential to transform the goal of sustainable health for all into a reality. Many communities, associations, foundations, researchers and patients, innovative entrepreneurs and governments have converged in that direction. We are all concerned by the evolution towards universal sustainable health.
How to organise an OSH approach which can involve the different key players in health while ensuring their diversity and complementarity? On October 26th, 2020 at the French embassy in Berlin, we signed a pledge for the cooperative development of the OSH Initiative. This will be a Forum between all stakeholders in order to facilitate the operational implementation of the One Sustainable Health approach through innovative projects.
We invite you to discover the OSH Initiative and to join us to enhance it with your expertise!
Benoît MIRIBEL, USDT Foundation « Une Santé Durable pour Tous »
Professor Detlev GANTEN, Founder of the World Health Summit (WHS)