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Ministers Launch One Health Symposium at Royal College of Physicians Ireland

Ministers from three government Departments launched Ireland’s One Health Symposium.

Ireland’s One Health symposium – ‘One Health – From Policy to Practice’ marks the beginning of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which runs from November 18th to 24th every year. This event will provide an Irish, European and global perspective on One Health through a combination of keynote speakers, case studies and panel discussions.

The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. Recognising that human health, animal health and ecosystem health are inextricably linked, One Health seeks to promote, improve and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians, veterinarians, other scientific health and environmental professionals and by promoting strengths in leadership and management to achieve these goals

Speaking at the symposium, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon TD, who has special responsibility for Research and Development said, “a One Health approach is now seen to be critical to effectively tackling major public, animal and plant health challenges of the 21st century – issues such as antimicrobial resistance, zoonotic and emerging infections, food safety and food security, as well as climate change.”

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD added, “as we gather on this occasion, we are reminded of the undeniable interconnectedness of human health, animal welfare, and our shared environment. The recent global challenges, notably the COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted the pressing need to look beyond our individual sectors and embrace a holistic, unified approach to protecting health. We are facing emerging health threats including from new diseases, climate change and antimicrobial resistance. It is our shared responsibility to respond with unity, foresight, and innovation. The One Health approach does precisely this.”

Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD commented, “the connections between and interdependence of human, animal and environmental health are now well recognised. By using the One Health approach we can create powerful synergies to address complex challenges that can help protect people’s health, help us understand more about animal disease or zoonotic cross-over, strengthen our food systems and help us address climate change.”

In closing, Minister Heydon said, “One Health collaboration will help ensure that we can collectively better prevent, predict, and respond to health threats in order to improve the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment, whilst contributing to sustainable development.”

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