By: Aly Diana
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of understanding the complex interactions between human, animal, and environmental health, as well as the social and economic factors that impact health outcomes. In a post-COVID-19 world, the One Health, EcoHealth, and Planetary Health approaches will play a vital role in promoting the health of the planet and its inhabitants. Here is a brief comparison of these approaches:
One Health: The One Health approach recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. It emphasizes the need to understand the complex interactions between different systems and to address the root causes of health challenges, such as infectious diseases, that emerge at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment. In a post-COVID-19 world, the One Health approach can help prevent future pandemics by developing strategies to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. This may include monitoring and controlling wildlife trade, improving hygiene practices, and reducing the consumption of wild animals.
EcoHealth: The EcoHealth approach recognizes that human health and environmental health are interconnected and that addressing environmental challenges is essential for promoting human health. The approach emphasizes the social and economic factors that impact human and environmental health, such as poverty, inequality, and social exclusion.
In a post-COVID-19 world, the EcoHealth approach can help address the underlying social and economic factors that contributed to the pandemic. This may include improving access to healthcare, reducing inequality, and promoting sustainable economic development.
Planetary Health: The Planetary Health approach focuses more broadly on the impacts of human activity on the environment and human health. It recognizes that human activity is changing the Earth’s natural systems, and these changes are having profound impacts on the health of the planet and its inhabitants. In a post-COVID-19 world, the Planetary Health approach can help address the root causes of the pandemic by promoting sustainable development practices and addressing climate change. This may include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting renewable energy sources, and protecting natural ecosystems.
While these three approaches have distinct differences in their focus and scope, they share a common goal of promoting the health of the planet and its inhabitants by recognizing the complex interactions between different systems. By applying these approaches in a coordinated and collaborative manner, we can create a more resilient and sustainable future for all.
For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the One Health approach in addressing zoonotic diseases. As we continue to experience the impacts of the pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that preventing future pandemics will require a coordinated effort across multiple sectors, including public health, agriculture, and wildlife conservation.
Similarly, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of the EcoHealth approach in addressing the underlying social and economic factors that contribute to poor health outcomes. The pandemic has disproportionately affected marginalized and disadvantaged communities, highlighting the need for policies and programs that promote equity and social justice.
Finally, the pandemic has underscored the importance of the Planetary Health approach in addressing the root causes of global health challenges. As we continue to confront the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, it is clear that we need a holistic approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of human and environmental health.
In conclusion, the One Health, EcoHealth, and Planetary Health approaches all have a critical role to play in promoting the health of the planet and its inhabitants in a post-COVID-19 world. By working together and adopting a coordinated and collaborative approach, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for all.
- Lerner H, Berg C. A Comparison of Three Holistic Approaches to Health: One Health, EcoHealth, and Planetary Health. Front Vet Sci. 2017 Sep 29;4:163. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2017.00163. PMID: 29085825; PMCID: PMC5649127
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 2020. Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health Series Event: One Health, EcoHealth and Planetary Health: bridging disciplines for a post-COVID-19 world. https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/newsevents/events/one-health-ecohealth-and-planetary-health-bridging-disciplines-post-covid-19
- Talukder B, vanLoon GW, Hipel KW. Planetary health & COVID-19: A multi-perspective investigation. One Health. 2022 Dec;15:100416. doi: 10.1016/j.onehlt.2022.100416. Epub 2022 Jul 22. PMID: 35892119; PMCID: PMC9304035