Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 653

Full Length Research Paper

Improving food safety in Asia through increased capacity in ecohealth

David C. Hall1*, Hung Nguyen-Viet2, Iwan Willyanto3, Dinh Xuan Tung4 and Suwit Chotinun5
1Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 2Department of Environmental Health, Hanoi School of Public Health, Hanoi, Vietnam. 3Iwan Wilyanto, Animal Health Consultant, Surabaya, Indonesia. 4Department of Economy, Environment and Farming Systems, National Institute of Animal Science, Hanoi, Vietnam. 5Department of Food Animal Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 June 2013
  •  Published: 31 August 2013


Interest has increased considerably in the last five years in transdisciplinary approaches to addressing the precipitating factors of emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases. During this time, several One Health and ecohealth initiatives have begun in Asia. This paper reports on recommendations coming out of one such initiative (the Building Ecohealth Capacity in Asia project) and outlines a strategy for promoting an ecohealth approach in research and in practice relevant to prioritized concerns relating to reducing zoonotic disease in Asia. The three main aspects of the strategy that are presented and discussed include: (1) Promote transdisciplinary approaches to understanding the complexity of zoonotic disease that compromise food safety; (2) increase teaching and application of ecohealth in medical sciences and other subjects relevant to food safety; and (3) bring ecohealth and One Health approaches into health policy discussions, particularly where these discussions influence policy formulation. Main constraints to applying such a strategy include limited awareness and knowledge of ecohealth and One Health, lack of willingness to engage in a transdisciplinary setting, restricted capacity to change academic curricula, rigid institutional frameworks for problem solving, and availability of funding. Suggestions for reducing these constraints are addressed.


Key words: Ecohealth, one health, food safety, zoonoses, medical education, Asia.