Aspiring veterinary medicine students should have a strong understanding of the One Health concept due to its increasing importance in the field. You are likely to be asked a question related to One Health during your veterinary interview – or you simply might want to mention it in the process or in your personal statement.

What is One Health Concept?

One Health is an integrated concept that aims to balance and improve the health of people, animals and ecosystems.

It recognises that the health of humans, animals and the environment are strongly connected and interdependent.

By adopting a One Health perspective, professionals from various fields, including medicine, veterinary science, public health, and environmental science, work together to tackle complex health issues such as zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and environmental degradation. 

Key Challenges Addressed by One Health

There are three main challenges that One Health addresses:  zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and environmental degradation. 

  • Zoonotic diseases and their impact on public health

Zoonotic diseases are infections that can be transmitted between animals and humans, posing significant public health risks. Examples include diseases like rabies, Ebola, avian influenza, and COVID-19.

The One Health approach recognises the importance of early detection, surveillance, and control of zoonotic diseases to prevent outbreaks and protect both human and animal populations.

  • Antimicrobial resistance and its implications for both human and animal health

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms develop resistance to the drugs used to treat infections, rendering them ineffective.

Overuse and misuse of antibiotics in both human and veterinary medicine contribute to the emergence of resistant bacteria.

The One Health concept emphasises the responsible use of antimicrobials, promoting collaboration between human and veterinary healthcare professionals to combat antimicrobial resistance and preserve the effectiveness of these vital drugs.

  •  Environmental degradation and its effects on health

Environmental factors, such as pollution, deforestation, and climate change, have a profound impact on the health of both humans and animals.

Degraded ecosystems can lead to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, disruption of wildlife habitats, and compromised food and water safety.

The One Health approach recognises the need to address environmental issues to safeguard the health of all living beings and promote sustainable practices that protect ecosystems and prevent adverse health outcomes.

By addressing these key challenges through the One Health approach, veterinary medicine professionals can contribute to the prevention, control, and management of zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and environmental degradation. 

The University of Nicosia School of Veterinary Medicine: Research Strategy

The University of Nicosia School of Veterinary Medicine embraces the One Health concept, recognising that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

In today’s interconnected world, diseases can spread further and faster than ever before.
A health threat anywhere can be a health threat everywhere.

World organisations like the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working together to mainstream One Health so that they are better prepared to prevent, predict, detect, and respond to global health threats.

The close synergies between the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Medical School and
other health-related departments of the University of Nicosia, create an ideal academic
ecosystem for offering our students a well-rounded education in veterinary medicine
that meets the collective health and safety needs of the modern world. 


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The University of Nicosia is the largest university in Cyprus, and the largest university in Southern Europe that teaches primarily in English.

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Its objective is to provide students with inter-professional learning opportunities, by bringing together students from various fields and encouraging them to work together to reach a common goal: improvement in patient health outcomes.

University of Nicosia’s School of Veterinary Medicine research strategy aims to address significant challenges such as climate change and the threats posed by pathogens on animals and humans. Students will also access innovative facilities as part of our teaching infrastructures, including antibiotic-free, organic farms.

Graduates will have a strong foundation to build their careers encompassing One Health based in veterinary medicine and global health.

The MMI Interview

It is important for interview candidates to fully understand the One Health concept when preparing for the interview stage. They will be required to reflect on and apply the One Health concept at community, national and global levels and provide examples in order to support their responses. 

By comprehending this concept, candidates can showcase their ability to think critically and holistically about health issues. During the interview, students should be prepared to provide concrete examples that illustrate how the One Health approach can be applied to address complex health challenges, such as zoonotic diseases or environmental impacts on animal and human health. 

Example Interview Question: “How would you apply the One Health concept to address a community-level health issue?”

Sample Answer: “When addressing a community-level health issue, such as an outbreak of a zoonotic disease, applying the One Health concept becomes crucial. Firstly, I would collaborate with public health officials, veterinarians, and environmental experts to assess the situation comprehensively. 

By understanding the interactions between humans, animals, and the environment, we can identify the source of the outbreak and implement effective control measures.

For instance, if the outbreak is linked to contaminated water sources, we would work together to improve water quality and educate the community on proper sanitation practices. 

Additionally, I would emphasise the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and communication to ensure a coordinated response. By involving stakeholders from various sectors, we can develop sustainable strategies that not only address the immediate health issue but also promote long-term community well-being.

Overall, the One Health approach allows us to tackle complex health challenges by recognising the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health and implementing collaborative solutions.”


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