Health and beauty

What Health after covid: in harmony with nature – Digital Agenda

Il PNRR contains many projects that aim at a holistic approach to health, and also provides for a new institutional set-up to be defined by 2022, through a specific Bill, centered on the principles of One Health.

But what are we talking about when we talk about One Health and why it is so important to reaffirm the unicum of environmental, animal and human health?

“One Health Digital”: the cultural pact that is needed for global and sustainable health

The genesis of the term One Health

The history of the holistic approach to health and well-being is a long one, which sees one of the first milestones in the launch at Alma Ata in 1978 of the principle of “Health in all policies”By the World Health Organization (WHO). That Declaration was followed in the following years by studies and reflections on health as a systemic process, which includes the well-being of nature and the animal world, a “psycho-somato-environmental system” according to the formulation coined by Censis at the end of the last century .

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The introduction of the term of One Health by the Wild Conservation Society dates back to 2004, a term used for many years almost exclusively in relation to animal health, food safety and antibiotic resistance.

And then 2015 is the crucial year, when it is launched The UN Agenda to 2030 for Sustainable Development, which focuses on the relationship between health, environment, production and democracy, highlighting the importance of the determinants of health in all areas of collective life (school, training, work, commerce, lifestyles, environment, energy, etc.). In the same year Pope Francis releases the encyclical “Laudato si ‘”, Which poses the question of the relationship between humanity and the planet. And if it is true that in previous years there was no lack of studies and publications in the biological, biomedical and biosocial fields, which indicated the risks inherent in an upset of the natural balance within the planet and the importance of the connections between the natural environment, animal species. and human species, it can be said that it is only in 2015 that humanity begins to become aware of the seriousness of the issue. And as far as Italy is concerned, the key year is 2016, when it was born the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS) with the aim of promoting the achievement of UN objectives through the involvement of civil society and all interested stakeholders.

Man and the environment: the balance has been broken

It is the debate on the so-called Anthropocene, a little known term although coined in the last century in the biological and chemical fields, and which today appears to us in all its significance. As experts from the various disciplinary areas tell us, viral emergencies are largely the result of the rupture of a balance between man, nature and other animal species. The strategy that goes by the name of green washingthat is the introduction in the productive and urban system of some interventions to mitigate pollution and environmental destruction, is not sufficient, according to this line of thought, to promote an effective and global sustainability of human development, which must be taken more carefully consideration with regard to pollution, the destruction of natural territories, urban planning, the production and transport system, and last but not least the exploiting the technological potential and in particular information technology for health and well-being. In this sense, the concept of circularity of life on the planet in all its forms must be understood, which cannot be considered only an elegant model of reflection, but must be used to study and apply strategies and interventions that are truly circular from a perspective to safeguard human, social and material capital at the same time, avoiding waste and producing virtuous balances.

But, despite similar appeals, global, national and local political strategies for development continue to be centered on reductive objectives of financial and productive equilibrium and on the increase in the wealth produced, with weak consideration of the other dimensions of well-being: health systems, mental well-being, balance between private life and working life, cooperation and solidarity, social and community belonging, trust. the most important.

Criticalities in the health sector

In the health sector, in particular, the pandemic confronts us with the fact that the “double burden of desaese”, that is the growth of chronic diseases alongside acute ones, is not sufficient today, as we are witnessing to a triple or quadruple burden of disease, given by the resurgence of virus pathologies – of which Covid-19 is the living and current example – and by the overlap between infectious pathologies and chronic pathologies, at the basis of many deaths from coronavirus, in particular of the elderly and chronically ill, but also in other age groups and poly-morbidities. Still in the health sector, the pandemic makes us reflect onhealth organization, on preventive medicine and on local medicine. As the doctors of the Papa Giovanni Hospital in Bergamo wrote on 21 March 2020, the community dimensionnot only for chronic diseases and disabilities, but also with respect to infectious epidemics, which cause real humanitarian crises, and require a population and territorial approach.

One digital health: a harmonized framework to achieve global health goals

The theme of connections

The issue of connections is of fundamental importance in this context, as it is evident that the separation between cultures, disciplines, ideologies and territories puts a strain on global development, and that it is necessary to focus on the connection between governments and countries for the creation of a common platform of shared values ​​as a reference point for the decisions to be taken, in Italy (between Regions), in Europe (between countries) and in the world (between continents and geopolitical areas). But the connections must also be sought in the necessary collaboration between the three souls of contemporary society (statehood, sociality and the market), overcoming the conflicts between public and private, between private and working life, and between the first, second and third economic sectors. And they must be promoted between scientific disciplines and related fields of application.

The national event promoted by ASviS as part of the Sustainable Development Festival on 5 October 2020, entitled “Wellness ecosystem. One Health: towards a new interconnected vision of health “, which has set itself the goal of disseminating the vision of One Health, reaffirming the unicum of environmental, animal and human health. Through a positive and dynamic narration, the interconnections between the psycho-physical well-being of man and the health of ecosystems were highlighted, as well as the link with the socio-economic themes of the 2030 Agenda, such as the intergenerational aspect, equity, social cohesion.

Conclusions

A further step forward in the implementation of the One Health principle is taking place in this period thanks to the contents of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), approved in June 2021 by the EU Commission as part of the EU Next Generation Program. In fact, the Plan envisages a long series of investments aimed at relaunching the country, in particular through environmental protection and the correct use of modern information technologies.

In fact, embracing the One Health and Health approach in all policies means having the tools and resources to redevelop school, university and research facilities and equipment, improve the safety of workers and production plants, promote the quality of living spaces in cities and extra-urban areas, promote sustainable agriculture and proximity, safeguard the quality of food and food production, develop local medicine, telemedicine and complex health technologies, improve efficiency of the health system, strengthen health education, the promotion of healthy lifestyles and health surveillance in the school setting.

At the same time, Parliament is discussing the proposal for a constitutional amendment which provides for the introduction of art. 9 of the principles of protection of the environment and ecosystems and art. 41 the introduction of the reference for private economic initiative to the need not to be in conflict with health, the environment and safety.

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