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Advancement in treatment and health prevention strategies for Infectious Diseases, with a focus on the One Health Approach

Embracing a One Health Perspective is recognizing the intimate link between humans, animals, and the environment. Understanding this interconnectedness is vital for addressing complex health challenges facing the world over.
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Since 2003, the world has seen over 15 million human deaths and US$4 trillion in economic losses due to diseases and pandemics, as well as immense loss of quality of life from food and water safety hazards, which are One Health-related health threats.  

Collaboration across sectors and disciplines through the One Health Approach advances infectious disease control by integrating human, animal, and environmental health. This approach provides a holistic understanding and perspective of disease transmission dynamics and ecological influences on Infectious Diseases such as Malaria and Dengue.

Paul Tambyah, President of the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID) said: “While it is challenging to attribute specific advancements solely to this approach, one notable example is the repurposing of the feline infectious peritonitis drug Nirmatrelvir, originally used for treating cats, into Paxlovid, now widely used for treating SARS-CoV-2 in humans. Additionally, ProMED (a Program of ISID) was the first to detect SARS in Guangdong in 2002, MERS in Saudi Arabia in 2012, and, most notably, SARS-Cov2 in Wuhan in 2019. See https://promedmail.org/.”

“At our coming meeting in Cape Town (https://isidcongress.org/), we will have a special ICID Ubuntu Community Village where activists and patient groups will have the opportunity to interact with researchers, clinicians, and public health professionals. We will also have a policy forum where policymakers can hear from people living and working with infectious diseases and share their plans for public health interventions.”

While ISID has made significant strides in Infectious Disease education and science, challenges remain with diseases like rabies and cholera.

The eradication of rinderpest stands as a major veterinary public health achievement, paving the way for a One Health Approach to combat other long-standing diseases affecting humans and animals.

Tambyah highlighted the potential for a One Health Approach to drive further disease eradication efforts by citing progress in polio eradication and the need for global surveillance systems to engage the public in monitoring and addressing infectious conditions.

“The public can contribute not only knowledge and intelligence but also funding to help support ground-up initiatives that are taking the lead in the One Health approach to Infectious Diseases.” Paul concluded.

For more information about ICID 2024, visit https://isidcongress.org/


Editor Notes:

The following are three examples of the successful One Health initiatives in Low and Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) countries:

In December, Cape Town will welcome over 2500 experts who are on the frontline of the battle against these diseases when they meet at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) for the 20th International Congress on Infectious Diseases (ICID 2024).

The ISID is dedicated to developing partnerships and finding solutions to the problems of Infectious Diseases across the globe and encourages collaborative efforts of human, veterinary, and environmental health communities working locally, nationally, and globally for the best control and management of infectious diseases.

The choice of Cape Town as the venue is one of the main measures taken to ensure accessibility and inclusion. Apart from the location, there is a differential pricing in registration for researchers/attendees from LMIC countries. In addition, there are competitive grants offered to researchers from low-resource settings to allow them to participate in the Congress and also share their work onsite at the event.

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