Contact: Sally Finney, ASTMH Executive Director
(847) 480-9592, ext. 222
Northbrook, Ill. – ASTMH, one of the world’s largest professional organizations dedicated to combating diseases of the tropics, has endorsed the One Health Initiative - a growing movement that seeks to forge new partnerships between human and veterinary medicine. Because animals are the ultimate source of many diseases of concern to ASTMH members, the Society believes the Initiative will bolster defenses against emerging human infections of animal origin, both at home and abroad.
The need for a new One Health/One Medicine concept stems in part from divisions between human and veterinary medicine which have hampered educational programs, communications campaigns, and public health systems. Leading the effort to bridge these divides are Drs. Laura Kahn of Princeton University, Bruce Kaplan (formerly of CDC and USDA), and Thomas Monath, a former ASTMH President.
In endorsing One Health, ASTMH joins the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 300 prominent scientists, physicians, and veterinarians, including Nobel laureates, government leaders, and members of the National Academy of Sciences.
Specific goals of the One Health Initiative include:
1) integration of educational systems within and between human
medical, veterinary medical schools, and schools of public health;
2) improved cross-disciplinary communication in professional journals, conferences, and allied health networks;
3) research on cross-species disease transmission;
4) integration of human, veterinary and wildlife disease surveillance and control;
5) comparative research on diseases affecting both humans and animals (for example, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and obesity);
6) partnerships in academia, industry and government around the development and evaluation of new diagnostic methods, medicines and vaccines for the prevention and control of cross-species diseases;
7) joint efforts to inform and educate political leaders and the public sector.
Underlying the ASTMH endorsement is the Society’s awareness of the repeated occurrence of animal-borne disease outbreaks in recent years and the significant threats such outbreaks pose to the health of humans and domesticated animals as well as regional and global economies.
Dr. Monath, along with Arthur Rubenstein (University of Pennsylvania) and Duane Gubler (Asia-Pacific Institute of Tropical Medicine & Infectious Diseases) will chair a symposium addressing this topic, “Reviving ‘One Medicine/One Health’ Concept: To Enhance Biomedical Research and Public Health Efficacy,” at the ASTMH Annual Meeting, Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 8:00 a.m.
The ASTMH 56th Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 4-8, 2007, at the Philadelphia Marriott. To receive a complimentary media registration, bring your credentials to the press room (room 403) at the Philadelphia Marriott.