Physicians and Veterinarians must work together to combat health threats, says WMA leader


(21.05.2015) An integrated approach by physicians and veterinarians to combat different types of health threats has been called for by Dr. Xavier Deau, President of the World Medical Association.

Speaking at a One Health conference in Madrid organised by the WMA and the World Veterinary Association, in collaboration with the Spanish medical and veterinary associations, Dr. Deau said the world urgently needed such an approach to combat an increasing amount of antimicrobial resistance, but also the threat from re-emerging infections.

He said that human health, animal health, and the ecosystems were interlinked and it needed a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to address risks that merged at the animal-human-ecosystems interface.

‘There is a commonly shared concern that as cross-border human, animal, food and seeds mobility increases, so does the threat of the spread of dangerous pathogens and infectious diseases. More education and more training for the next generation of experts are required. We also need a framework for information-sharing to detect and fill knowledge gaps, and to strengthen inter-disciplinary cooperation.’

Dr. Deau added: ‘Our key objectives should be to promote a cross-disciplinary and collaborative approach in order to improve human health and animal well-being. We need to foster scientific research on zoonosis and vector-borne infectious disease. We also must create synergies and facilitate the sharing of data between researchers. And it is important that new scientific findings should be disseminated and translated to anyone who might benefit from them.’