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      Operationalizing One Health Employing Social-Ecological Systems Theory: Lessons From the Greater Mekong Sub-region

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          Abstract

          The idea of the interdependency of the health of humans, animals, and ecosystems emerged from the interplay of theory and concepts from medicine, public health and ecology among leading thinkers in these fields during the last century. The rationale for One Health and its focus on the “human, animal, and environmental interface” stems from this legacy and points to transdisciplinary, ecological and complex systems approaches as central to One Health practice. Demonstration of One Health's efficacy, its wider adoption and continual improvement require explicit operational criteria and evaluation metrics on this basis. Social-Ecological Systems Theory with its unique conception of resilience (SESR) currently offers the most well-developed framework for understanding these approaches and development of performance standards. This paper describes operational criteria for One Health developed accordingly, including a protocol currently being tested for vector borne disease interventions. Wider adoption of One Health is most likely to occur as One Health practitioners gain an increasing familiarity with ecological and complex systems concepts in practice employing a transdisciplinary process. Two areas in which this inevitably will be required for significant further progress, and where the beginnings of a foundation for building upon exist, include: (1) Emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases, and (2) successful implementation of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The former includes the challenge of stemming the threat of new microbial pathogens, anti-microbial resistant variants of existing pathogens, as well as resurgence of malaria and other recalcitrant diseases. The applicability of SESR in this regard is illustrated with two case examples from the Greater Mekong Subregion, Avian Influenza (H5N1) and Liver Fluke ( Opisthorchis viverrini). Each is shown to represent a science and policy challenge suggestive of an avoidable social-ecological system pathology that similarly has challenged sustainable development. Thus, SESR framing arguably is highly applicable to the SDGs, which, to a large extent, require consideration of human-animal-environmental health linkages. Further elaboration of these One Health operational criteria and metrics could contribute to the achievement of many of the SDGs.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Public Health
                Front Public Health
                Front. Public Health
                Frontiers in Public Health
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                2296-2565
                22 May 2019
                2019
                : 7
                Affiliations
                1ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University , Nakon Pathom, Thailand
                2Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University , Fairfax, VA, United States
                3Global Health Group International , Chiang Rai, Thailand
                4Department of Research and Conservation, Zoological Park Organization of Thailand , Bangkok, Thailand
                Author notes

                Edited by: Simon Rodrigo Rüegg, University of Zurich, Switzerland

                Reviewed by: Christine Paillard, UMR6539 Laboratoire des Sciences de L'environnement Marin (LEMAR), France; Anna Sophie Fahrion, Safoso, Switzerland

                *Correspondence: Bruce A. Wilcox wilcox.bru@ 123456mahidol.ac.th
                A. Alonso Aguirre aaguirr3@ 123456gmu.edu

                This article was submitted to Environmental Health, a section of the journal Frontiers in Public Health

                Article
                10.3389/fpubh.2019.00085
                6547168
                Copyright © 2019 Wilcox, Aguirre, De Paula, Siriaroonrat and Echaubard.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 61, Pages: 12, Words: 9061
                Categories
                Public Health
                Perspective

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