ANECPLA, our Spanish member association, calls for a necessary global vision of human, animal and environmental health as the only way to stop future pandemics.
- Climate change, globalisation, the increase in food demand due to the exponential growth of the world's population, deforestation and the loss of biodiversity are the best breeding ground for zoonoses such as the current coronavirus.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already warned of future pandemics such as the one we are experiencing as a result of the SARS-CoV2 virus and has highlighted the close link between the health of humans, animals and the planet.
- Faced with this new scenario, the National Association of Environmental Health Companies (ANECPLA) is calling for a paradigm shift that brings together human, animal and environmental health in a global way as the only way to successfully face this complex challenge we are facing.
- This paradigm shift is the "One Health" strategy, the implementation of which ANECPLA has joined in a joint position with the national collegiate organisations of Nursing, Pharmacy, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.
Madrid, 18 May 2021 - Nearly three and a half million people have died as a result of the coronavirus worldwide since the start of the pandemic. A situation that has caused a health crisis of the highest order and has shattered the social, economic, political and cultural structures that have been the norm to date. And all because of SARS-CoV2, a microscopic virus of animal origin that made the leap to humans with devastating consequences.
"The outbreak of COVID-19 has revealed the brutal shortcomings of the current status quo in dealing with crises such as the one that this pandemic has presented us with. That is why, at ANECPLA, we believe that a paradigm shift is urgently needed to help us face this type of situation, which is sure to be repeated in the future. This paradigm shift is the "One Health" approach, a cross-cutting strategy that brings together human, animal and environmental health to provide effective responses and work on prevention," explains the director general of the National Association of Environmental Health Companies (ANECPLA), Milagros Fernández de Lezeta.
Climate change, globalisation, the increase in demand for food as a result of the exponential growth of the world's population, deforestation and the loss of biodiversity are the best breeding ground for zoonoses such as the current coronavirus.
such as the current coronavirus. The "One Health" approach, promoted for more than 20 years by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), considers that human health, animal health and environmental protection are closely interrelated and form a common space.
ANECPLA has joined the joint position in favour of the need to implement the "One Health" approach, which in our country has already been signed by the Nursing, Pharmacy, Medicine and Veterinary collegiate organisations, which bring together more than half a million health professionals.
"It is essential that we take immediate action in the face of future pandemics, which will undoubtedly occur," urges Fernández de Lezeta, who recalls that, according to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), "it is estimated that there are 1.7 million "undiscovered" viruses in mammals and birds, of which up to 827,000 could have the capacity to infect people.
"It is not about 'returning to normal', we cannot afford to take steps backwards, but about building a system that responds to future pandemics like the ones we have experienced to avoid the health collapses and the enormous suffering we have endured this past year," he said.