Scientists continue to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, but as a zoonotic disease it has demonstrated the importance of focusing on the complex and intimate relationships between the health of humans, animals and ecosystems. To address these relationships and prevent future pandemics, policymakers are focusing as never before on a One Health approach that brings these fields together in a collaborative, transdisciplinary approach, working at the local, national and global levels.
Building on 45 years of experience on animal health research in Africa and Asia, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is leading an array of One Health projects and initiatives with its partners. Those projects aim to detect and pre-empt epidemics and pandemics, cut down on foodborne zoonoses, reduce the incidence of emerging infectious disease and halt the spread of antimicrobial resistance. To fulfil these goals, ILRI will strengthen its existing collaborations and forge new alliances with national, regional and international One Health partners. ILRI will also capitalise on its in-house expertise and research infrastructure in animal health, zoonoses, environment and livestock portfolios.
The long-term vision is to establish a One Health hub led by ILRI to improve the lives, livelihoods and well-being of people in the global South by building healthy, sustainable and resilient livestock production systems at the intersection of humans, animals and the environment.