Symposium: animal-to-human diseases

Leading scientists, One Health practitioners and international policymakers are speaking this week at the One Health for the Real World: zoonoses, ecosystems and wellbeing symposium, co-organised by the STEPS-led Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium.

Professor Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, is delivering the opening keynote at the event, which is being organised in partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Royal Society.

Further keynotes are being delivered by: Professor Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies; Dr Peter Daszak, President, Ecohealth Alliance; Professor Bassirou Bonfoh of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH); and Dr Delia Grace of the International Livestock Research Institute.


  • You can follow the symposium on Twitter: @DDDAC_org, #OneHealth2016

The symposium is discussing the topic ‘Healthy ecosystems, healthy people’ and the event is presenting new interdisciplinary frameworks for a One Health approach to zoonotic diseases (those passed from vertebrate animals to people).

One Health rests on the principle that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interdependent. However, there is little integration in understanding the relationships between these sectors. Often research is divided between those who focus on environmental change and ecosystem services, those who address socio-economic, poverty and wellbeing issues, and those who consider health and disease. This can lead to fragmented understandings and inadequate responses.

The symposium is also highlighting evidence from the field-based settings in which Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa researchers have been working: Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Importantly, it is also debating implications of a One Health approach for policy and practice.

The Drivers of Disease consortium has been working for four years to deliver much-needed, cutting-edge science on the relationships between ecosystems, zoonoses, health and wellbeing, with the objective of moving people out of poverty and promoting social justice. It is funded by Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA).