Gender Issues in Human, Animal and Plant Health Using a Broad One Health Perspective
1Department of Anthropology, Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa; 2International Rural Poultry Centre, Kyeema Foundation, Brisbane, Australia & Maputo, Mozambique; 3Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006 Australia; 4Plant and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
A broad One Health perspective approximates an ecohealth approach which is a core concept integrating environmental aspects with human and animal health (domestic and wild animals). Zoonotic and emerging diseases affect human health and impact negatively on food security. Although both the risk of contracting a disease and the subsequent impacts vary between different genders, age groups, cultures and social conditions, very little research has been done on this and few guidelines or interventions focus adequately on these aspects. Our conceptual framework identifies the relationship between gender inequalities and the risk of contracting a disease through broad One Health perspective. It looks at the varying impacts of plant, animal and human diseases and identifies four contributing factors. We first discuss the socially defined roles including social, economic, cultural, legal and political factors that often determine which place men and women occupy in society, which animals and plants men or women have accumulated knowledge of, which they have control of and which they benefit from and consequently the impact men and women have on the environment due to these specific roles. Secondly, we analyse the gender differences in risk of infection. It also analyses cultural differences that influence practices connected to animal, plant and human diseases and discusses respective preventions and treatments. Thirdly, we also identify the different ways men and women are impacted by diseases of human, plants and animals. Lastly, we assess the biological factors that influence the differences in exposure, infection rates and mortality rates between men and women during their life cycle. These four factors contribute to gender variations in relation to animal, human, plant and ecological health.
Creating a One Health Metric
Livestock Development Group, United Kingdom
In creating a combined impact metric for human and animal health, the main issue is as follows: the longevity of a livestock life is rather not important. However, the impacts of livestock disease on the lives and livelihoods of the over 1.1 billion poor people who keep them, are. Therefore, any combined metric must account for both human well-being and the poverty impacts of livestock disease.
There are presently a number of well-accepted measures for human wellbeing ranging from the Human Development Index (HDI) to the Quality Adjusted Health Year (QALY), which measures the quality and additional quantity of years lived in the context of a disease intervention. Thus, human health metrics are generally calculated at the individual level. Conversely, livestock and poverty health measures are generally assessed at the household level. For example, the Livestock and Poverty Assessment Tool (LPA) first calculates a weighted measure to assess the poverty impacts of particular species or the ‘Species Gap’ on the household level. Second, a ranking calculation may be performed which mediates the ‘wealth effects’ of different species. Finally, the ‘Disease Gap’ or changes in the poverty status of a household due to the impact or influence of a livestock disease may be calculated. Findings from the LPA illustrated the varying impacts of the same livestock disease across households of differing socio-economic standing i.e. East Coast Fever had a proportionally higher poverty impact on the poorest farmers than those comparatively better off.
The following study details the creation of a One Health Metric (OHM) by combining the three tools above: the HDI, QALY and LPA. Global data sets on human health and livestock disease from OIE and WHO were utilised to inform the analysis. Key issues in creating and applying the metric are dicussed in addition to policy implications.
Environment, Health and Well-being nexus - the European Environment Agency (EEA) Perspective
European Environment Agency, Denmark
The EEA State of the Environment and Outlook report (SOER 2010) showed that while environmental policies have resulted in substantial improvements in the state of the environment in Europe, challenges to health and well-being remain. The targeted policy instruments are likely to further reduce particular burdens, but are insufficient to address increasingly complex environmental challenges. Given the unprecedented rate of change and systemic nature of environmental challenges, SOER 2010 highlights the need for a transition towards a green economy.
To respond to global, interconnected challenges, such as climate change, depletion of resources, ecosystem degradation, and persistent inequality, a better understanding of the links between resource use, environmental conditions and human health and well-being is needed, taking account of system interactions, feedback loops and the trade-offs. The move towards a more systemic perspective on environment, health and well-being linkages and the transitions perspective call for analytical framework capable of integrating the social, ecological, and physical aspects of the environment-human interactions. In the ecosystem perspective, human well‑being depends on well‑functioning ecosystems and the way we use natural resources, such as food, water, energy and materials. The exploitation of these resources is interdependent, with direct and indirect impacts on human health and well‑being, often mediated through the environment. The policy focus needs to be widened to include social policy, consumption, resource efficiency, natural capital, ecosystem services and spatial planning, implying a need for a multidisciplinary and multi‑stakeholder dialogue to take account of values and attitudes. The EEA works with its network (Eionet) and external partners to contribute to developing knowledge-base on a broad framing of the environment, health and well-being, in support to the long-term transitions to more sustainable society.