One Health approach to improving health security

The Nossal Institute for Global Health’s Collaboration on One Health Economic Research for Systems (COHERES) project received funding from the Australian Government, which was announced on Friday 17 July by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The COHERES Project is looking at opportunities to improve collaboration between human and animal health sectors and to use incentive-based regulation to intervene in veterinary markets in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam, to improve health security outcomes. The Nossal Institute was awarded $1.8 million towards the project.

The funding is part of a $10.2 million investment by the Australian Government into the Research for One Health Systems Strengthening Program, which aims to bring together leading Australian researchers and regional counterparts to address issues with a One Health approach, recognising that the health of people, animals and the environment are interconnected.

The Program aims to help address the growing rate of zoonotic diseases across South-East Asia and the Pacific.

Approximately 75% of newly emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses (diseases that can transmit from animals to humans) that result from various anthropogenic, genetic, ecologic, socioeconomic and climatic drivers.

The COHERES Project aims to lay the groundwork for evidence informed policy and development of policy interventions that will benefit One Health goals, and improve animal and human health outcomes, beginning in Cambodia.

“The global disruption brought on by COVID-19 has emphasised the importance of the One Health approach. Working with our local partners in Cambodia, we hope to understand and strengthen the links between human and animal health systems to improve health outcomes in the future” said Justin McKinley, a Research Fellow in the One Health research unit at The Nossal Institute.

Director of the Nossal Institute for Global Health, Barbara McPake (front centre) highlighted the importance of the collaboration with their research partners.

“We are excited to be on this journey exploring the connections between animal and human health systems in a one health framework. We all have so much to learn from our colleagues in the region.”

The Research for One Health Systems Strengthening Program is led by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security.

The Australian research institutions receiving funding through the program include CSIRO, Menzies School of Health Research, University of Melbourne’s Nossal Institute for Global Health, Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness and the Burnet Institute.