Uppsala Health Summit

Tackling Infectious Disease Threats: Prevent, detect and respond with a One Health approach

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Copy right World Bank
Copyright: World Bank

Uppsala Health Summit 2017 will take place on October 10-11th and focus on priorities for preventing, detecting and responding to emerging infectious diseases, using a One Health approach.

The program will be organized around solutions-oriented workshops and plenum sessions and encompass a range of topics.These include framework for coordinated laboratory structures, modeling and prediction of emergence of zoonoses, social dimensions of preventing transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans in low-income countries, economic models for diagnostics, governance, research agendas and behavioral change. Under these broad themes, we will identify and select areas where policies and practices could be improved.

Why focus on emerging infectious diseases?

In our fast-paced, interconnected world, infectious diseases are resurfacing and pose a serious threat to global health, and to social and economic stability. Recently, Ebola, MERS, pandemic influenzas and Zika have revealed how vulnerable we are – especially in settings where healthcare systems are fragile – and how quickly an outbreak can become a global concern.

Multiple, interrelated drivers such as population growth and migration, poverty, deforestation, climate change, travel and trade together create a perfect storm; the rate at which emerging disease events occur is increasing while our ability to respond is slowing down with growing antimicrobial resistance.

Turning the tide begins with a realisation that just as the drivers are complex, the response needs to be multifaceted. About 70 per cent of infectious diseases are zoonotic, i.e. they are transmitted between animals and humans. Actions aimed at reducing the risks long-term must therefore consider the strong interdependencies between people, animals and the environment. In other words, they must pursue a ‘One Health’ approach, which requires veterinarians, medical doctors, ecologists and social scientists to find solutions and implement them together.

Integrated human and animal health approaches are recognised as critical by many, for example in the WHO, FAO and OIE 2010 tripartite concept note on the importance of strengthening collaboration at the human–animal–ecosystem interface. An operational framework supported by the WHO, OIE and World Bank followed in 2014.

At Uppsala Health Summit we believe there is a need to continue to develop implementable solutions across sectors, new thinking may be necessary, and innovations and lessons from the field need to be shared. We are inviting researchers and practitioners from around the world to develop and refine priority actions to address this key public health challenge of our time.

The programme is currently under development. More information and details about registration will be available shortly.