Single health

2023/11/22 STEAM-Hezkuntza (Elhuyar Zientzia)

Ed. Pernan Goñi

For a fairer economic system and a more balanced exploitation of the planet, it will also be important to look at the following concepts: Single Health and Interdependence of Living Beings.

Each species has a role in the complex network of the ecosystem: some are pollinating, others break down matter, others create soil… Therefore, living beings are totally interdependent: interdependent. Dependence on human health, animal health and environmental health, for example, is constantly being highlighted. When one is not healthy, others also suffer the consequences. All three are considered jointly by Single Health.

Scientists are increasingly convinced that there is a Single Health on the planet and that humans will never have good health as long as ecosystems and other living beings also have poor health.

Interdependence and Single Health are easily visible in new zoonotic diseases. When ecosystem health is damaged, animal diseases pass more easily to humans and increase the risk of causing pandemics. We know that 70% of the new human infectious diseases that have occurred in the last 20 years have passed through other animals.

And this interdependence is also giving much to say in the case of antibiotics. One of the greatest challenges facing medicine is the problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. If the solution is not achieved, we will lose tools to deal with any infection and minimal operation becomes too dangerous in the medium term. The living conditions of animals on extensive farms and the high number of antibiotics administered to them have caused to a large extent this crisis which can be so serious for human health. To cope with the crisis, it will be essential to incorporate the Single Health perspective and ensure quality animal health.

Medicine has so far focused on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. It should facilitate the incorporation of this vision of health, from which it should address the new strategies of prevention and cure of diseases.

The concept of Single Health has an important ethical aspect that includes inseparable ideas:

  • It demands that health be considered a universal good. It is not an exclusive right of human beings. The right to health extends to other species, ecosystems and future generations.
  • Among people, everyone has the same rights and opportunities. This requires a firm commitment to the communities and voices that remain on the margin.

The application of the concept of Single Health will be decisive for the XXI. to cure 21st century diseases and ensure the integrity of the planet. It is therefore a variable to be included in the debate on the environmental emergency.

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This project, promoted by Elhuyar, is supported by the Department of Economic Promotion and Strategic Projects of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa.

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