The concept of “One Health”

Humankind has always had to deal with propagation of infectious agents and of the risks of pandemics. Over the last ten years, such propagation has been growing. Diseases of animal origin (bird flu, H1N1, SARS, etc.) have impacts on our health, on the quality and on the safety and security of our food, and on biodiversity.

The recent health crises have shown how a health event that is initially an animal health issue can represent a risk for public health, with consequences of global dimensions on the economy, the environment, and our societies.

A triptych then emerges between human health, animal health, and environment management. This linking together requires a consistent and overall approach to health and is known as the “One Health” initiative. Globalisation of health risks is making this concept even more topical than before.

This concept approaches health security as a global public asset, in a holistic and cross-cutting perspective, incorporating human health, animal health, plant health, and ecosystem and biodiversity health with the aim of attaining optimum health for humans, animals, and the environment.

The concept of “One Health” thus encompasses not only zoonoses but also pathologies having impacts on public health and on food security. Various issues are taken into account: an international public health issue, an economic and food security issue, an environmental issue, and a societal issue.


The concept of “One Health" is one of the priorities proclaimed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in 2013.

The SIMV is paying particular attention to it, in particular by creating teaching tools, such as a piece of computer graphics entitled “Le médicament vétérinaire au service d’Une Santé” (“Veterinary medicines at the service of One Health”) or an explanatory piece of videography, these tools being available on the website “Le medicament vétérinaire” and YouTube chanel. 

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