UiO’s Life Science Open Call Awarded to The Lancet One Health Commission

The Centre for Global Health (CGH) at the University of Oslo (UiO)’s Medical Faculty is proud to announce that we have received support for the work and output of The Lancet One Health Commission from the UiO Life Science Open Call.

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In an interdependent world, it is highly unlikely that Life Science actors will achieve their goals without effective interdisciplinary collaboration. Life Science spans a variety of disciplines within the area of basic and applied sciences, including not only the translation into the human or animal species, but also into society at large in order to inspire relevant policy change. One Health, which considers the interconnection of human, animal and environmental health, is not a new discipline, but an approach or a method to disentangle complex and interconnected health systems. Therefore, the concept of One Health is not only important locally for laboratories, clinics and hospitals, but on a much larger and broader scale, and as a consequence is inherently global.

Global health threats that will determine the survival of the human species such as climate change, pandemics and emerging infectious diseases, neglected poverty diseases and antibiotic resistance, to name just a few, rely on research excellence in Life Science and require coordinated action across disciplines. The example of antibiotic resistance clearly shows the benefit of cooperation across sectors. Most of the data in this area come from the human domain, whereas data from the agricultural and veterinary sectors, especially outside Europe, are not yet scientifically substantiated. In this context, the One Health concept uses inter- and multidisciplinary approaches that bring together human, veterinary and environmental health. This is just one of the many examples that shows that a One Health discussion within Life Science is of paramount importance in order to reach consensus on the need for action, the analysis and interpretation of data, in order to enable a coordinated approach of all stakeholders to the health threats mentioned above.

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Relevance of the Lancet One Health Commission for Life Science

The Lancet, one of the most highly ranked scientific journals in medicine, publishes influential scientific statements on current topics of importance, which are prepared by an appointed high-caliber commission. By bringing together different technical experts and sectors, the One Health Lancet Commission aims to influence how governments and international organizations deal with acute and systemic global health threats that are inherently complex. The Commission will also actively involve the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society to harness their contribution through innovative technologies, publicity and leadership. The Commission's aim is to show the state of research on One Health and, if necessary, to complement it with fine-tuned research projects, to accelerate progress in the implementation of the One Health concept in the various fields of action (academic, private, political, civil), to draw up guidelines and to promote coherence and cooperation within and between sectors.

The mandate of The Lancet One Health Commission was officially given to Prof. Andrea Winkler (Centre for Global Health, University of Oslo, Norway) by Richard Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet in November 2018. Prof. Winkler invited Dr. John Amuasi from the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), Ghana, as co-chair of The Lancet One Health Commission in view of the global scale of the topic. The initiative convenes about 30+ experts, including 22 Commissioners, from different health sectors including Life Science worldwide over a period of three years (2019-2021) at different times. In addition, an Advisory Board of renowned experts will be formed. The work of the different experts will culminate in an evidence-based strong position paper, published in The Lancet, and a high-level dissemination conference of the Commission in 2022. The Lancet One Health Commission’s overarching theme is «Improving human, animal and ecosystem health through integrated approaches», with the following objectives:

  • To demonstrate the opportunities, challenges and value proposition for an integrated approach to multispecies health and sustainable economic development in the 21st century.
  • To synthesize evidence for the value of an integrated approach to multispecies health around the shared environment, food safety, shared medicines and intervention with an emphasis on infectious diseases; non-communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance.
  • To identify stakeholders and motivating factors for their participation in an integrated approach to multispecies health and suggest strategies to engage with them.
  • To produce policy recommendations and enabling strategies to accelerate mainstreaming of an integrated approach to multispecies health.
  • To propose an investment framework for an integrated approach to multispecies health.
By Ingeborg K. Haavardsson, Andrea S. Winkler
Published Oct. 3, 2019 10:43 AM - Last modified Oct. 3, 2019 11:18 AM