One World, One Wealth: An Economic Consideration with Applications of the One Health One Medicine Concept

By Satesh Bidaisee, Associate Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, St. George's University
July 23, 2012

Since its beginning, the world in which we live in can be described in terms of many changes throughout the ages. In fact, some of the eras of world include the industrial era, post-world war era and most recently, the age of information technology. These changes that have occurred and continue to occur include physical changes to the landscape through towering infrastructure and altering seas and lands, increase in both human population size and movement as well as the virtual nature of human communications. While these changes and others form part of an evolving world, one of the constants that remain consistently over the ages is that of human inequality.

Inequality manifests itself in different levels including income, gender, ethnicity, religion, geographical location and region, healthcare and health outcomes not to mention sexual orientation which is assuming a global debate presently. What is even more interesting is that with every national and international budget prepared, every trade agreement agreed upon, every convention or charter adopted, every bilateral and multinational arrangement entered, every global social, economic and political decision made, the underlying aim at least was and is a belief towards opportunity and equity throughout the world. The reality is however is that inequalities persists and for some regions of the world, the gap of inequality has also widened in spite of and because of the very economic measures that are developed and implemented.

The global economy today speaks about narrowing the income gap between the rich and poor countries but this position is under the assumption that the global resources that exist are potentially available to the underserved and neglected regions of the world. This potential that exits will only remain what it is, a potential, unless the global context of economic management consider the underserved and neglected regions not as separate entities outside of the main economic discourse but rather as part of the global economic model of the entire world. This approach warrants for a “oneness” in decision making, resource exploitation, allocation and investment, and, fiscal and monetary policies and procedures towards the collective context of one world model. Anything else will continue to maintain and sustain the economic divide and continue to fuel the inequalities that exist globally.

Make no mistake that the very nature and arguably the most beautiful aspect of this world in which we live is its diversity. However, diversity should not equate to inequality but rather have a collective and equitable economic mindset thus creating a harmony in the presence of diversity for the benefit of all. The One Health , One Medicine concept which brings together human, animal and environmental considerations for the benefit of human health by assuring the well being and welfare of animals and the environment demonstrate the “oneness” approach that can be applied to economic models as a One World, One Wealth concept.

In relation to the One Health, One Medicine concept, the One World, One Wealth approach can promote equal and equitable economic policies and procedures for the One World as a whole with the connectivity of creating a One Wealth outcome. One Wealth for income, gender, ethnicity, religion, geographical location and region, differing sexual orientations as well as equitable, available and accessible healthcare will serve to negate the disparities of adverse health, social, economic and political outcomes. While this application of the One Health, One Medicine model may be considered by many as another pie in the sky approach, it can be an economic consideration for the benefit of all.

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