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Editorial  |  Open Access  |  4 Dec 2020

One Health & Implementation Research: Improving Health for All

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One Health Implement Res 2021;1:1-3.
10.20517/ohir.2020.01 |  © The Author(s) 2020.
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Current socio-ecological challenges such as climate change, destruction of natural habitats, species extinction, urbanization, and emerging zoonotic diseases severely impact the health of people, wildlife, and domestic animals. The One Health approach considers a holistic view including humans, animals, and the environment, and it is a multidisciplinary and integrated approach to understand occurrence of diseases, epidemics, and emerging antimicrobial resistance, by including medical, veterinary, wildlife, biological, agricultural, and social sciences, architecture, and the environment.

One Health is indispensable to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to develop effective and evidence-based responses to the current local, national, and global health threats. Communicable and non-communicable diseases, zoonoses, and increasing antimicrobial resistance demand a comprehensive understanding of the relation between health and disease, as well as their determinants, on a global scale. The presence and absence of diseases and health conditions are determined by a variety of factors, including those related to people and society, animal health, governance and health systems, and environment and climate change [Figure 1]. The processes leading to disease and conditions are intrinsically interlinked with each other, within a complex web of causation.

One Health & Implementation Research: Improving Health for All

Figure 1. One Health: Determinants associated with disease and antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

To attain particularly SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), health systems and the delivery of public health policies need to be strengthened. Often, there are underlying systemic and political issues, structural changes, and funding gaps hampering these efforts. The roll-out of control programs can also be improved.

Interventions can only be effective and sustainable when performed in line with major stakeholder groups and addressing the needs of the target populations. Thus, well-designed scientific studies assessing the implementation and effectiveness of control measures and health policies in real-life settings are needed. However, there is often still a lack of alignment of research with the priorities and needs of health system decision-makers, practitioners, and clients. Scientific studies on the implementation and effectiveness of disease control programs in community settings will help to identify the bottlenecks of public health policies, strategies, and disease control, within the context of reforms such as Universal Health Coverage.

In line with these considerations and within the realm of One Health, implementation research is a systemic multidisciplinary approach and an important tool to control diseases sustainably. Implementation research studies are demand-driven and flexible: research questions are elaborated according to the needs identified by stakeholders. The approach aims to identify optimal implementation measures in a given setting, by applying research findings into policy and practice, specific for each setting.

Within this context, the new journal One Health & Implementation Research aims to promote multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research that provides evidence to improve health for all, and contributions leading on any of these aspects are welcome. A special focus of the journal is on study findings on human and animal disease prevention and control within the One Health approach, in collaboration with communities, policy makers, and other stakeholders. The journal publishes Original Articles, Review Articles, Meta-Analyses, Systematic Reviews, Technical Notes, Commentaries, Letters to Editor, Opinions, and Perspectives.


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The author declared that there are no conflicts of interest.

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© The Author(s) 2020.

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OAE Style

Heukelbach J. One Health & Implementation Research: Improving Health for All. One Health Implement Res 2021;1:1-3.

AMA Style

Heukelbach J. One Health & Implementation Research: Improving Health for All. One Health & Implementation Research. 2021; 1(1): 1-3.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jorg Heukelbach. 2021. "One Health & Implementation Research: Improving Health for All" One Health & Implementation Research. 1, no.1: 1-3.

ACS Style

Heukelbach, J. One Health & Implementation Research: Improving Health for All. One. Health Implement. Res. 2021, 1, 1-3.

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© The Author(s) 2020. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, for any purpose, even commercially, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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One Health & Implementation Research
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