Experience with the control of epidemics, notably the 2004 outbreaks of avian influenza, has demonstrated that a “One Health approach,” that recognizes that human, animal, and environmental health are interdependent, is the most effective way of dealing with threats from emerging infectious diseases (EID). However, introducing and applying a One Health approach is challenging for many countries. One of the key challenges relates to stewardship. The evolution of the strategies and policies used to introduce and adopt the One Health approach in the detection and response to EID over the period 2005 to 2017 is described at global level and in country case studies of Thailand and Indonesia. Both countries experienced significant outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza from 2004 and have sought to adopt the One Health approach in their response strategies. The challenges for stewardship of health systems in introducing a One Health approach are described, and key lessons identified in regard to national level agency coordination, engagement of the broader civil society outside government, and developing a reliable, credible, and impartial decision-making process. The concept of stewardship provides valuable insights for policymakers on how to incorporate a One Health approach into their EID response systems.
- One Health
- emerging infectious diseases