One Health is a thought which acknowledges that the health of human beings is closely linked to the health of all living beings and our shared environment. This idea is not new. In fact, it harkens back to the ancient times when Acharya Charaka not only recognized the phenomena of “lōkasammita purua – the Universe- Man Continuum ” but also its impact on health. This concept has regained importance in the recent times due to several factors, some of the important ones being:

Human beings ‘encroaching’ on the habitat of other beings

Extensive farming, Industrialization, deforestation leading to climate change

International travel and trade 

These seemingly innocuous changes have led to the spread of existing (endemic) and new ‘zoonotic’ diseases- diseases that spread between animals and people. The ‘Pandemic’ COVID-19 is a severe case in point and a warning to heed the tenets of OneHealth.

OneHealth is gaining importance globally as an effective approach towards health issues at the human-animal-plant-environment interface.

The pandemic has highlighted that, fruitful public health interventions require the cooperation of all stakeholders in human health (doctors, nurses, public health practitioners, epidemiologists), animal health (veterinarians, agricultural workers), environment (ecologists, wildlife experts), and other areas of expertisesuch as law enforcement and policymakers. These professionals need to communicate, collaborate, and co-ordinate One Health activities.

Other relevant stakeholders are communities and even pet owners. No single person, organization or for that matter country can effectively address the myriad issues at the plant-animal-human-environment interface in isolation. This ‘Vaccum’ is sought to be filled by WAF by bringing together all the stakeholders under one roof and forging a strong and meaningful network of professionals from all walks through this platform of 9th WAC. The discussions firmly leading to appropriate policy changes and action.

The WHO defines ‘One Health’ as an approach to designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes. The ‘One Health’ approach is critical to addressing health threats in the animal, human and environment interface.

9th edition of the World Ayurveda Congress has this very important overarching theme ‘Ayurveda for One Health’ to provide a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary forum working at the local, regional, national, and global levels to address the health issues spanning the entire spectrum of Humans-Animals- Plants and their Shared Environment.

This is a high time to pray for universal solidarity, Harmony and peace in words of the ancient rsi:

Om. May peace radiate there in the whole sky as well as in
the vast ethereal space everywhere.

May peace reign all over this earth, in water and in all herbs,
trees and creepers.

May harmony permeate all animals…

May harmony flow over the whole universe.

May harmony be in the Whole Universe.

And may there always exist in all peace and harmony alone.
Om peace, harmony and peace to
us and all beings!