About One Health

One Health identifies that human health is associated with animal health and the environment they live in. Via a multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration, each Health Professional shares their scientific knowledge nationally and globally, aiming to protect all living organisms on the planet. Scientists of various specialties, Doctors, Veterinarians, Biologists, Agronomists, Pharmacists, Dentists, Food Technologists, and others, develop their knowledge and skills, adopting specific strategies, through which the enhancement of physical and mental human health is accomplished, in addition to the protection of their natural environment, with which they are inextricably linked, aiming to improve Public Health at all levels, with less time and less cost required. International Organizations, Universities, Institutes, the European Union, the World Health Organization, support One Health, taking action for all of us.

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Asclepius One Health

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“Asclepius – One Health” was founded in April 2019.
In summary, the main purposes of “Asclepius – One Health”, as described in its Articles of Association, are the following:
– The development, dissemination and implementation of the principles of One Health in Greece and in the rest of the world, according to the definition given by the World Health Organization, the European Union and other International Organizations, which are based on the assumption that human health is inextricably linked to animal health and the balance of the environment, and therefore Public Health development and protection strategy should address the above areas as a whole.
– The transformation and evolution of “Asclepius – One Health” into an entity of Development, Research and Technology, aiming to transferring the technology and know-how in the field of Health and Agriculture, in Greece and in the rest of the world. At the same time, “Asclepius” looks forward to the constant information of the Greek and international public opinion, as well as to the organization of educational and training activities in this direction.
– Cooperation with academic and research institutions, at a national and international level in the field of Health and Livestock and in general any action aiming to preserve and develop Public Health and the protection of the environment. In addition, the creation of a Strategic Innovation Agenda around One Health is also a key goal of “Asclepius”.
– Improving sustainability in the agri-food sector.
– The coordination of actions with domestic and international entities, aiming at the effective promotion of One Health.
“Asclepius – One Health” is thus formed aiming to achieve a broader understanding and preparedness for the treatment of zoonoses, emerging or recurrent infectious diseases transmitted from animals to humans, as well as for the treatment of antimicrobial resistance. A crucial parameter in this approach is the environmental factors that contribute to the spreading of these diseases.

History and «Asclepius»

Which are the historical origins of One Health served by Asclepius- One Health?

According to a common interpretation of the term which nowadays is taught in most universities, One Health is defined as the collaborative (multidisciplinary) contribution and concurrence of different disciplines that meet the goal of optimal human and animal health while defending the natural environment and its balance.

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  • It is known that the term was first used by Professor James in 1947, who was back then the founder and head of the Department of Veterinary Public Health and the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) of the U.S.
  • Professor Steele researched data for many years and concluded that human health is not independent of animal health and environmental changes. The invention and subsequent prevalence of the term “One Health” is attributed to Professor Steele and it is identified as his deposit in thousands of works and dissertations.
  • Nevertheless, scientific and historical research in recent decades have led to the conclusion that the primary reference to One Health has its roots far back in time, back to the father of Modern Medicine, Hippocrates, who was born in the Greek Island of Kos in 460 BC, and was the founder of Rational Medicine. Hippocrates was the one who identified the original idea that human health is affected by the quality of the environment, being (actually) dependent on it.
  • Many centuries had passed until Hippocrates’ findings were incorporated into the scientific research and constituted a starting point for new knowledge to be obtained.
  • In the middle of 19th century, German scientist, physician, anthropologist and biologist, Rudolf Virchow, was the first to refer to the term “animal – human disease” in order to describe the unknown and undocumented transmission of diseases from animals to humans at that time and the need to connect Medicine to Veterinary Science to intercept mutual threats.
  • In 1947, Professor James Steele’s initiative broke new grounds for One Health, as it formed the modern basis to understand the epidemiological dimension of zoonoses in humans.
  • Ever since, additionally occasioned by the emergence of new diseases, One Health is constantly gaining ground. On April 7th 2003, the world known newspaper Washington Post referred to Professor William Karesh’s saying, on the occasion of the Ebola virus’ existence, that “human and animal health cannot be considered individually. There is only one health”.
  • However, the bird flu virus also moved the governments to take action. The US and China had been aware of the threat of a pandemic and with the cooperation of the World Health Institutions they initiated policies that serve the concept (idea) and the scientific essence of One Health.
  • In 2008, the US established and consolidated One Health into its Public Health policies, followed by many European countries. The equalization effect of zoonoses on Public Health systems is increasingly recognized worldwide. Hundreds of scientific studies refer to contagious diseases that begin by the triptych animals – environment – humans and to the obvious need for a multidisciplinary approach to prevention, timely intervention and the development of the necessary corresponding policies.
  • Since 2011, a wide range of scientific meetings has been taking place all over the world in order to timely identify threats that could potentially evolve into pandemics, threatening Public Health.
  • In 2016, One Health Platform Foundation, One Health Commission and One Health Initiative pro bono Team partnered to establish the 3rd of November of each year as the “One Health Day” worldwide.

In April 2019, “Asclepius – One Health” was finally established in Greece, with the contribution of many, well known, scientists, with the primary goal and mission of its statute being “the development, dissemination and implementation of the principles of One Health and anything in general that’s correlated with Health in Greece and the rest of the world, according to the definition that is outlined by the World Health Organization, the European Union and the other International Organizations”.