One Health: The world needs a healing

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Joshua Chesco Mwalongo is a second year medical student at the Kilimanjaro Medical University in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. 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.

“We kill the world, kill the world, cause’ we don’t know what we are doing!”Boney M, 1981. The cost of the safety, health and wellbeing of the people of the world is a very expensive one. Yet it is a cost which if left undealt with quickly, will grow to a humongous one. This overwhelming complexity calls for an adjusted global health approach and connection among multiple initiatives and disciplines.

Global health is the new normal. Recently with the prevalence of pandemics, matters of health have gained a political eye, an economic concern and a humanitarian interest. This has led to emergence of three global health agendas which are; global health security agenda, global health economic agenda and the global health social justice agenda. At the edge of all of this, one health concept brings a better approach towards achieving the global health agenda.

One would argue that One Health Concept is but a holistic approach towards the planet’s health. As defined by the One Health Initiative, One Health means the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment. It is therefore also a collaborative and participatory fight for the global health without leaving anyone or anything behind. Therefore for achieving the global health agenda, we need;

A global health security agenda which calls for all-level stakeholder engagement, inclusive multidiscipline research and development strategies towards implementing the set action packages. Furthermore, surveillance, prevention, detection and control of zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance campaigning, society-level biosecurity and biosafety, better immunization strategies, sustainable financing and elite and non-discriminative workforce development.

An economic agenda which does not only seek to counter the economic impact of poor health and disease outbreak but also highly mainstreams health sector in different economic activities such mining, lumbering,  industries, hunting and game and pharmaceuticals. An economic agenda based on equalizing the injection of funds in conserving and healing the environment, animal world and human world.An economic agenda which strives to reduce the poverty induced from health seeking costs due to out of pocket funding.

A social justice agenda which not only puts the environment and animal health as part and parcel of the social determinants of human health but also appraises health as a social value and human right together with the access to medicine.

It renders unopposable to submit that the world needs a healing. The world is tired of pandemics, the environment needs to be protected so that it can protect us and animals need healthcare as much as humans do. The unbearable break and disconnect between the health of people, animals and surroundings should be eliminated if we are to achieve the global health agenda. One health is the next best thing!

About the author

Joshua Chesco Mwalongo is a second year medical student at the Kilimanjaro Medical University in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. He is an active member of IFMSA Tanzania, TAMSA, a SCORE coordinator for TAMSA at his university and a deputy director of project and research of KCMUCo Medical Academic Society (KMAS). He vouches for change. He aspires to become a part of personnel against cancer as a researcher or a clinician. He says; “As a youth, I’m moved to bring the best healthcare to the society”.


  1. I believe that the One Health initiative thirst for change driven views and approach and I think this writing has somewhat quenched the thirst of Global health.

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