One Health: Pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response


This course was developed by the Karolinska Institutet (KI) and the Federation of the European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) as part of the research project ‘Pan-European Response to the Impacts of the COVID-19 and future Pandemics and Epidemics’ (PERISCOPE). Funded by the European Commission Research Funding programme Horizon 2020 under the Grant Agreement number 101016233, PERISCOPE investigates the broad socio-economic and behavioural impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, to make Europe more resilient and prepared for future large-scale risks.

This course is primarily aimed at highly specialised technical professional groups (healthcare authorities, policymakers, researchers and other academics) interested in learning more about the One Health approach. The modules are for participants who are likely to have previous knowledge about the concept in one specific area or pillar but not necessarily in all of them.
The course will provide basic knowledge and contextualisation of One Health in creeping crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Attending the course, participants will identify enablers, limitations, barriers, and next steps in and to the One Health concept and operationalisation.
PERISCOPE website:
KI website:
FEAM website:

What you will learn

Introduction: One Health in an interconnected world

The intro module consists of two lessons, where the first lesson aims to give a short description of the history and journey of One Health as a framework and the notion of human-animal-environmental health interconnection that it is built upon. The second lesson is an introduction to “creeping crisis”, a concept to explain crisis that evolve over time and demands new toolboxes to tackle. After completing the module, participants should have an overview of One Health’s history as well as a deeper understanding of One Health, and the importance in exploring and understanding actual and forthcoming issues that can be found at the human-animal-environmental interface and manifest a creeping crisis.

One Health’s current status – gaps, obstacles & imbalances

The second module consists of four lessons where the general aim is to explore One Health’s current status and identify ways of moving forward to strengthen the concept’s impact on pandemic preparedness and prevention. This by highlighting the gaps, obstacles, and imbalances that exist within the framework, especially regarding the three sectors of human, animal, and environmental health. The first and second lessons present One Health from a legal perspective and explains how the legal system could be more aligned to One Health in order to safeguard human, animal and environmental health. The third lecture continues where the two previous lessons took off and further explores anthropocentrism and a particular blind spot within One Health: human-animal relations, whereas lesson four focuses on the relation between the health of nature and One Health in the context of pandemic risk and mitigation.

From theory to practice: how to translate evidence into policy.

In the previous modules, you learned more about the struggle to define “One Health”. Due to the complexity of the concept, a correct conceptualization of One Health can enhance its implementation. But how can we translate theory to practice? Policymakers need evidence to inform policy, and scientists play a key role in the process. In this module, you will access resources that reverberate the literature debate around the science-policy nexus. Finally, the module is preparatory for the following ones, which will bring to your attention some case studies where the One Health approach was put into practice and implemented. For this purpose, in this module, you will read more about the operationalization of One Health.

The pillars of One Health: best practices.

As your familiarity with the conceptualization of One Health and the process to operationalize it has grown, the fourth and the fifth module will provide you with some case studies. Lecturers will discuss successes and challenges in implementing One Health, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic context. This module will zoom into each of the pillars of One Health: human health and food safety, animal health, and environmental health.

What’s included