Network for Evaluation of One Health

Commentary ‘Learning…to do better things’


Sep 17


Learning not only “to do things better” but also “to do better things”

Written by George Lueddeke PhD, Chair of the One Health Education Task Force.
Published in the Africa Health Newsletter:

‘Resource shortages, demographic realities, and planetary boundaries’ (1) along with the threats of ideological extremism necessitate a redirection towards well-being and sustainability. While the survival of all species is wholly dependent on a healthy planet, urgent research and policy action at the highest levels to address large-scale problems are needed to counter the thinking that perpetuates the ‘folly of a limitless world’ and largely ignores the socioeconomic and geopolitical effects (or plight) of present-day scenarios on the daily lives of most people on the planet  in particular the young, the poor and the marginalised (2).  Severe socioeconomic impacts are likely to be felt most by those living in global coastal regions (three-quarters of the world’s mega-cities!) where ‘climate change will increasingly threaten infrastructure and food supplies especially in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia’ (3), and most recently in the Caribbean islands. Another major global threat to millions is posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to infections caused largely by crowded sub-standard living conditions (affecting more than half the world’s population of  c.7.6 billion) and antibiotic overuse (4). Incorporating technology – artificial intelligence, big data, robotics – into our daily lives as a public good rather than as a threat, for example, replacing people with robots –  presents a  major challenge not only for  developing and low middle income countries  but also for those in higher income nations, some of which appear to be facing industrial decline in the next few years . The gap between  individual aspirations and socioeconomic realities has already widened for many given the rise of  youth unemployment (over 50%) in many regions  across the world – Africa, Americas, Europe, Middle East, SE Asia

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