Health is not just for humans

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Ándrew Suguru Sato, a 22 years old and a second-year medical student at Unicesumar, Maringá, Brazil. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

            The concept of health goes beyond the absence of disease, it is also the promotion of biological, psychological, social and spiritual well-being. On the other hand, “One health” is a broader thought than this concept of health, where we see beyond human beings, animals and the environment.

           What we learned in the medical course is that there are diseases caused by animals, microorganisms, a polluted environment or dangerousness, but what we don’t stop to think is that we talk a lot about health promotion and we focus so much on treating diseases that we forget to do others interventions that can help more than one drug. For example, 6 out of 10 infectious diseases are zoonotic in origin and we focus a lot on knowing how to treat one of these zoonoses and not thinking about how we can prevent the outbreak of that zoonosis.

            This concept would also fit in COVID-19, which scientists claim is a pandemic that could have been avoided, as it is hypothesized that the origin of the disease is a mutation that occurred in the transmission of the virus from the bat to an intermediate host and finally to the human being.

            It cannot be denied that in Brazil there is the family health team (FHT) that actively searches the homes of residents, but I believe that physicians, despite the lack of competent physicians, could be more attentive to this issue. So much so that in Brazil, in a survey carried out with health professionals asking if they would like to cooperate in promoting “unique health”, they identified that more than half of those who answered yes were veterinarians and a minority of physicians.

            Some critics may say that this is the government’s responsibility, but just as the concept of “one health” encompasses everything in one way, here we must think that this responsibility is not a mere citizen who is part of society, but a living being who does part of nature, because according to the holoinformational theory of consciousness, we are a part of the whole, that is, harming other parts like animals, the environment, we are harming ourselves.

            Thus, it is necessary to make the physician aware that the responsibility is not only the veterinarian or other health professionals and also put into practice the concept of quaternary prevention, which is not to perform unnecessary tests and treatments for diseases that the patient does not have.

            However, we know that this is an ideal world, we know that we have priorities and difficulties among them. Health professionals are also human beings, so they also have responsibilities and are already tired of work and the demands of everyday life. Therefore, pressuring them with ideas that are incompatible with that individual’s current situation will only discourage them. Therefore, I believe that one of the ways to promote “one health” and implement the Global Health Agenda is to inspire people through their own attitudes, with the thought of cooperation and not fighting “evil”.

About the author

Ándrew Suguru Sato is 22 years old and a second-year medical student at Unicesumar, Maringá, Brazil. He is the president of the Academic League of health and spirituality (LIASE). He has always been dedicated to helping vulnerable populations from extracurricular projects, and developing the human side by the group Humanizart.


  1. Yes. You are right. What are vets for? Thank you 😊

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