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Practical Material

Guidance on Selection and Use of One Health Operational Tools

WHO South-East Asia Regional Office . 2024;

The One Health (OH) High-Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP) of the Quadripartite Organizations defined OH as an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems.”   

It recognizes the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and interdependent [1]. The Tripartite which comprised the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) later became the Quadripartite organizations when the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) joined the OH alliance in 2022. There are Global and Regional Quadripartite Secretariats consisting of officials of headquarters and regional offices, respectively.

Over the years, the Tripartite/Quadripartite organizations and other partner agencies have developed several OH assessment and operational tools to support Member States in assessing their core capacities to achieve compliance with the requirements of international standards such as the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR), WOAH’s Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Health Codes, World Trade Organization’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (WTO-SPS), FAO/WHO Codex standards, etc. Technical areas that the existing tools currently support include progress monitoring, coordination and collaboration mechanisms, and capacity building for prevention, detection, preparedness, and response to health threats emerging at human-animal-environment interface. More OH B operational tools are in the pipeline. 

The guidance is tailored for officials of ministries and agencies responsible for OH, WHO Country Offices, WHO regional offices, Quadripartite organizations, and other partner organizations and anyone involved in OH initiatives. It is crafted to guide the selection and application of most commonly used OH operational tools. These tools, ranging from assessment to preparedness and response planning, are integral for addressing health threats that intersect intersect at human, animal, and environment interface.

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