Quality (314) Quality and One Health

5 December, 2021

A few months ago Rachel Stancliffe posted an insightful message on HIFA making the case for quality health services to embrace environmental sustainability and the health of future generations:


A press release from WHO reports:

'The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) welcome the newly formed operational definition of One Health from their advisory panel, the One Health High Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP), whose members represent a broad range of disciplines in science and policy-related sectors relevant to One Health from around the world.'


The One Health definition developed by the OHHLEP states:

'One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems.

'It recognizes the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.

'The approach mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines and communities at varying levels of society to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems, while addressing the collective need for clean water, energy and air, safe and nutritious food, taking action on climate change, and contributing to sustainable development.'

The press release does not explicitly link quality health services and one health, but extending on Rachel's message it seems that quality should not only lead to better health outcomes and patient experience, but also contribute to one health. I look forward to your thoughts and practical implications (Rachel is already far advanced in this direction through her directorship of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, which has been working since 2008 to engage healthcare professionals, patients and the wider community 'to understand the connections between health and environment and reduce healthcare’s resource footprint'. https://sustainablehealthcare.org.uk/what-we-do )

Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org