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One Health: Water, Animals, Food and Society


The mission of the One Health Center (OHC) is to assess and respond to global health problems arising from the human-water-animal-food interface and to design, implement, and evaluate practical, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions that focus on the foundations of health in collaboration with local partners.

The mission will be realized by:

  1. integrating expertise drawn from a variety of disciplines, including medicine, public health, veterinary medicine, social sciences, engineering, and agricultural and environmental sciences;
  2. engaging collaboratively with partners in California and around the world in action-based research aimed at improving and promoting health using the One Health approach; and
  3. training a cadre of global leaders, health workers, scientists, and engineers in the One Health approach.

The OHC will be particularly sensitive to these five cross-cutting themes:

  • Individuals and households are the ultimate agents of change in society. Therefore, awareness of cultural and social practices, behavioral change, and public acceptance of interventions are critical if interventions are to succeed.
  • Cost benefit and cost-effectiveness criteria should be applied to rank alternative interventions under consideration.
  • Impact evaluation, monitoring, and assessment of the relative weaknesses and strengths of different interventions are crucial for success.
  • Sustainability depends on the involvement of community stakeholders and partners. Beneficiaries should have full ownership of an intervention and should therefore be involved at every stage of the intervention — its design, implementation, and evaluation.
  • An important objective of interventions should be to narrow health disparities.

Below are examples of health interventions that the OHC will seek to design, implement, and evaluate.

  • Improved water management in underserved areas of the world to conserve water, increase its quantity and quality, and utilize it more effectively to specifically improve health outcomes.
  • Improved animal health (e.g., poultry immunization that improves animal health, reduces the risk of zoonotic diseases, and increases access to eggs and poultry meat for young children in the household).
  • Enhanced vector-control and disease-surveillance strategies.
  • Improved food safety through water and ecosystem management.
  • Promotion of low-cost and sustainable approaches to combat malnutrition, especially among children.
  • Use of agricultural biotechnology for improved nutrition and food security.
  • Implementation of better household practices to prevent the spread of water related diseases.


Bruce Link, PhD, MS

UC Riverside