Rethinking "One Health" through Brucellosis: ethics, boundaries and politics. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • One Health, as an international movement and as a research methodology, aspires to cross boundaries between disciplines. However, One Health has also been viewed as “reductionist” due to its overemphasize on physicians-veterinarians cooperation and surveillance capacity enhancement, while limiting the involvement with socio-political preconditioning factors that shape the impact of diseases, and the ethical questions that eventually structure interventions. The current article draws on a qualitative study of Brucellosis control in Israel, to address the benefits of broadening the One Health perspective to include ethical considerations and the socio-political aspects of health. Using in-depth-interviews, observations and document review, the article analyzes stakeholders’ knowledge (policy makers, practitioners and livestock owners) to understand Brucellosis control interventions in the Negev region of Israel. The analysis highlights four different types of boundaries: geographical, professional, disciplinary and participatory. The variety of boundaries going beyond disciplinary ones, are often neglected by traditional One Health discourses, however they provide clearer understanding regarding the role of the Israel and Palestine relations; enforcement activities and trust creation; and mechanisms of decision-making and public participation, in Brucellosis interventions. A broad One Health analysis that addresses ethical concerns and socio-political environments, as well as human and veterinary medicine, encourages re-framing of causes and solutions when dealing particularly with Brucellosis in the Negev, but more generally with zoonotic diseases, low-trust settings and inequitable distribution of power. The inclusion of historical, political and bioethical considerations of Public Health in One Health creates opportunities to increase the relevance of One Health and expand its scope as a novel scientific paradigm.

publication date

  • June 1, 2018