The just-released Report of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board points to a systemic lack of coordination at all levels and among countries exacerbated by global mistrust and compounded by lack of funding
“ ... Yet, all things considered, it is a very good and rich effort, including its realistic assessment of the impediments to future progress. Also commendable is its recognition that One Health, the interface between humans, animals, plants, and the environment, has not been adequately integrated.
Recognition of the role of One Health in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response
The Report drily notes that “many One Health activities have been focused on a particular human disease, such as influenza; neglected zoonoses, such as rabies; or emerging One Health priorities, such as antimicrobial resistance.” Implicit is the recognition of the key role One Health could play in medical research as it contributes to building up knowledge of “neglected zoonoses” or emerging issues such as AMR which could have catastrophic impacts in a new pandemic situation.
More importantly, the GPMB experts make the point that a “fully integrated approach”, i.e. One Health, would be fundamental for achieving an effective level of prevention, preparedness and response, stating:
“A broader perspective would consider animal health in a more genuinely integrated way alongside human health as fundamental capacities for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPPR). Only when this fully integrated approach is taken will One Health activities have the scope and capacity to assess and respond to the needs of prevention and early warning across a broad range of diseases. and in its realistic assessment of where we are and impediments to achieving great progress.”
The problem is, however, that One Health is not yet “fully integrated” either in medical research or in the implementation of PPPR measures and that is a serious shortcoming the GPMB experts have recognized.
Report findings and recommendations:
Given its assessment of One Health as potentially playing a key role in PPPR, the GPMB experts recommended further integrations of the One Health approach to achieve effective pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. ...”