2020 ACTIVITY REPORT
… all facilitate the emergence and spread of diseases between wild animals, domestic animals and humans, endangering the health of all.
The World Organisation for Animal Health works to break disease transmission cycles by collaborating with partners, experts and donors and by supporting countries.
One Health for all
Humans, animals and the environment are interdependent
All living beings on Earth share the planet’s environment and resources: air, forests, oceans and rivers. Yet, we also share deadly pathogens responsible for diseases, such as COVID-19, tuberculosis or influenza. For many pathogens, living entities represent countless opportunities for potential hosts. And some can easily jump from species to species if certain conditions are met. Moreover, with a world more globalised and interconnected than ever before, a disease risk anywhere can easily become a risk everywhere.
Animal health is at the heart of these risks, as at least 75% of emerging human infectious diseases have an animal origin. While not all animal diseases pose a direct risk to humans, they still may have significant socioeconomic impacts. Thus, the most effective way to safeguard human health and well-being is to control diseases at their animal source.
of human infectious diseases...
protects the health of all
people rely on livestock for their living
of production losses are attributed to animal diseases
3 out of 5
appear each year
have animal origin
of production losses
are attributed to
improving animal health
and food security
United in the fight against global health threats
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has been at the forefront of controlling animal diseases for almost 100 years. Yet no single organisation can tackle the complex challenges of global health on its own. This is why the OIE promotes collaborations and advocates for greater global health governance that covers all aspects of animal, human and ecosystem health.
Building this governance has taken the shape of a Tripartite cooperation between the OIE, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). For several years, this collaboration has helped countries face issues like antimicrobial resistance and emerging diseases.
The global fight against rabies is one of those challenges better driven by a coordinated, multi-partner response. Our objective is to end human deaths from dog mediated rabies by 2030. By leveraging its broad areas of expertise, the Tripartite collaboration empowers and enables countries to save human lives from this preventable disease. The launch of the United Against Rabies Forum in 2020 was a big step towards achieving our ambitious goals, as it will bring together different sectors to join efforts against the disease.
While collaborations between human and animal health services are well established, the environmental sector must also be included in order to achieve a proper, all-encompassing One Health approach. In the light of recent emerging diseases such as Ebola or COVID-19, the role of wildlife can no longer be overlooked. This is why the Tripartite collaboration is being expanded to include the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), reinforcing its One Health approach.
Global governance with impact in the field
As essential keepers of animal health and welfare, Veterinary Services play a key role in achieving effective and sustainable global health governance. By monitoring and responding to animal diseases, they help prevent their spread and consequences at different levels of society. Their actions at local level have a global impact on public health, food safety and security. Moreover, these essential actors are poised to play an even greater role within the One Health approach as we scale up our efforts to manage wildlife health.
Therefore, investing in Veterinary Services today means preparing for the health challenges of tomorrow. By strengthening the resilience of Veterinary Services worldwide, the OIE helps create a future in which human and animal health systems benefit and support each other. In an ever-changing world, we remain committed to supporting them through training and capacity-building, among other actions.
Our future depends on animal health
SARS, HIV, influenza… Through the years, we have been challenged by several diseases with an animal origin. The risks posed by such ever-evolving pathogens will not change. But what we can change – and what we must change – is our global preparedness in the face of newer, and perhaps even more serious, disease risks.
Building more effective, resilient and sustainable animal health systems is an essential step toward achieving this preparation. Through its mission to improve animal health and welfare worldwide, the World Organisation for Animal Health contributes to create a healthier and safer future for all.