U.S. Senate Passes Bipartisan 'One Health'Awareness Month
U.S. Senate Passes Bipartisan 'One Health'Awareness Month
On December 19, 2019 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution Senate Resolution 462 introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (Democrat-California) and Martha McSally (Republican-Arizona) designating January 2020 as “National One Health Awareness Month” in the U.S. to promote collaboration between public, animal and environmental health scientists.
One Health is a relatively new term being used by health experts – including at the U.S. (and other) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – to better focus on the linkages between human, animal and environmental health and the need to develop comprehensive solutions. For instance, public health specialists are now working with physicians and veterinarians to minimize the inappropriate use of antibiotics in human and animal patients to combat antibiotic resistance.
“By using the ‘One Health’ approach, global health problems including antibiotic resistance and the spread of infectious diseases can be more easily addressed,” Senator Feinstein said. “Our resolution will hopefully draw attention to the need for holistic approaches to addressing human health that take into account changes in environmental and animal health. With diminishing resources and a growing human population, fighting problems with a ‘One Health’ approach must be encouraged now more than ever.”
“The health of our population is dependent on the interconnection of people, animals, and the environment,” said Senator McSally. “I was glad to join Senator Feinstein in introducing this resolution designating January as National One Health Awareness Month to promote ‘One Health’ and its growing collaboration in order to make our world a healthier place.”
Designating January 2020 as ``National One Health Awareness Month'' to promote awareness of organizations focused on public health, animal health, and environmental health collaboration throughout the United States and to recognize the critical contributions of those organizations to the future of the United States. Whereas One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach, working at the local, regional, national, and global levels, with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment;
Whereas the mission of One Health is to establish closer professional interactions, collaborations, and educational opportunities across the various medical, veterinary, and environmental health professions and their allied science professions to simultaneously improve public health, animal health, and environmental health; Whereas the increasing threats posed by emerging diseases shared between animals and people, foodborne, vector-borne, and waterborne diseases, and other environmental factors may support the need for an integrated effort by professionals from multiple disciplines, including health, science, technology, and engineering;
Whereas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 75 percent of new or emerging infectious diseases in people are spread by animals; Whereas, each year, International One Health Day is November 3; and Whereas One Health is essential to combating and strengthening the surveillance of emerging and reemerging diseases: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate designates January 2020 as “National One Health Awareness Month” to—
- promote awareness of organizations that focus on One Health efforts to improve the quality of life for people and animals;
- recognize the efforts made by such organizations in using a One Health approach to prevent epidemics; and
- recognize the importance of using the One Health approach to simultaneously protect the health of people, animals, plants, and the environment in the United States.
This Resolution follows introduction in June and July 2019 in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives identical One Health Bills S.1903 and HR.3771, ‘‘Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act of 2019’ by Senators Tina Smith and Todd Young and House Representatives Kurt Schrader and Ted Yoho. Co-sponsors for the One Health Bills of 2019, which are separate from the Resolution above, are actively being sought. U.S. citizens may wish to contact their Federal Congress persons to raise awareness about these One Health Bills and this Senate Resolution and urge them to co-sponsor.
One Health Education Call to Action!!
Passing this resolution and bringing these U.S. Congressional Bills forward was NOT easy for those on the front lines making it happen. The One Health Community is sharing the news widely and that is wonderful; but what good is it to simply talk about it in our own circles? Now is the time to EDUCATE the public and lawmakers. Over the next 5 weeks (and beyond) this U.S. Senate RESOLUTION needs to be on the front page of EVERY newspaper and spoken about on every radio station in your community, state, and country. Will you take up these challenges? 1. In the next 24 hours, write to the New York Times and at least 3 other media outlets.
- Tell them about the One Health Awareness Month Resolution press release and share it with them (https://tinyurl.com/r6s9oow).
- Add a personal story about how One Health or a One Health issue has affected and impacted you or your family.
- Mention that Senator Dianne Feinstein, ranking member on the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee, has passed a bipartisan resolution about One Health Awareness. (Be sure to say the words "One Health"). In so doing, the U.S. Senate has demonstrated that it can act in bipartisan ways for the good of all citizens.
2. Bring One Health to your community.
- Create a challenge to your social media friends and connections to spend 30 days in a row posting about how One Health is important or has affected you, them or their loved ones.
- Do a talk about One Health and One Health issues at a library, school, park, church, business etc. near you.
- Plan and implement a One Health Day Event in 2020 to educate about One Health or One Health issues.
3. Please share these news items widely by forwarding this message to family, friends and colleagues.
4. Watch for further communications about actions you can take