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The health sector cannot mount an effective response on its own to global health threats

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f751 (Published 06 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f751
  1. Tessa Richards
  1. 1BMJ

Human and animal health and environmental sectors need to collaborate systematically and internationally to reduce the health, social, and economic burden of existing and emerging infectious diseases, a meeting in Bangkok agreed last week.

They must also acknowledge and tackle the drivers of disease, including overconsumption of global resources, change in land use, international trade practices, and climate change.

The meeting was convened by the Prince Mahidol Award Conference (www.pmaconference.mahidol.ac.th) to debate ways of tackling infectious disease and to advance the “One Health” approach, which calls for coordinated, cross disciplinary prevention, detection, and control strategies (www.onehealthinitiative.com).

The meeting brought together around 1000 delegates, predominantly from middle and low income countries, including public health doctors, vets, health economists, health researchers, and specialists in wildlife, the environment, and nutrition.

About 60% of newly emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses, and the past three decades have seen a rise in the number of viruses jumping from animals to …

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