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One Health methods overview

Read, how Jakob Zinsstag summarises the different approaches One Health brings together.
© University of Basel

In our understanding integrated One Health approaches are based on the theory of incremental benefit or added value of working closer together. This principle has also a strong support from economics, using game theory to assess the benefits of cooperation (Nowak, M.A., Coakley, S., (eds.), 2013. Evolution, Games and God: The principle of cooperation. Harvard University Press.).

With these assumptions it becomes clear that One Health brings together 1) quantiative approaches using statistical and mathematical tools together with economic analyses; and 2) qualitative approaches addressing the social phenomenon of cooperation and the resulting qualitative benefits like better knowledge or social cohesion (Week 4 steps 4.1 to 4.10). This includes transdisciplinary approaches engaging academic scientists with non-academic actors to co-produce transformational knowledge for societal problem solving (Week 4, steps 4.10 and following).

The steps 2.8 to 2.17 are a quantitative introduction to the calculation of incremental benefits of a closer cooperation of human and animal health using basic matrix mathematics, coupled differential equations and their analysis. This section introduces the interested learner in the fundamentals of epidemic theory at the animal-human interface, addressing important terms like basic reproductive number, endemic stability, threshold vaccination coverage to interrupt disease transmission, which are of particular interest in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. Learners who don’t have a mathematical inclination and / or don’t have the necessary background, can skip these steps and continue on step 2.17.

© University of Basel
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One Health: Connecting Humans, Animals and the Environment

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