EU One Health Fair Promotes Human, Animal and Environmental Health

Inaugural photo at the One Health Fair featuring Niall Leonard, the First Counsellor of EU Delegation (Centre Left) and Dr Sanong Thongsna (Centre Right), the Vice Minister of Health.

The One Health or ສຸຂະພາບໜຶ່ງດຽວ concept recognizes that human health is tightly connected to the health of animals and the environment, involving the public health, veterinary and environmental sectors. This approach is particularly relevant for food and water safety, nutrition, the control of zoonoses, pollution management, and combatting antimicrobial resistance. The European Union (EU) in Laos presents the One Health Fair, as part of a broader campaign to raise awareness on the importance of protecting human, animal and environmental wellbeing.

The One Health Fair being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Vientiane on 9,10 and 11 September brings together government officials, organizations, businesses, and other parties who work and run their business sustainably and, in an environmentally-friendly manner. The event also wants to encourage people to make healthy and safe food choices for themselves and to gain awareness about the dangers of drug-resistant germs caused by the incorrect use of antibiotics.

Niall Leonard, the First Counsellor of EU Delegation (left) and Vice Minister of Health Dr Sanong Thongsna (right) stand ready to inaugurate the One Health Fair with a ceremonial watering of the Dok Koun flowers

“We recognize the importance of taking care of the environment, as well as protecting the well-being of animals, in order to protect human health. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we need to work together if we want to prevent a future pandemic”, stated Dr Sanong Thongsna, the Vice Minister of Health.

First Counsellor and Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to Laos, Mr. Niall Leonard said, “As the European Union, we decided to support this campaign because we want to encourage the community to take action. It is urgent that we come together to protect human, animal, and environmental health. It is urgent that we all recognize the importance of the environment and how it links to human health, consuming healthy diets and locally produced foods and protecting animals’ health which prevents diseases harmful to humans.”

Dozens of local and expatriate residents gather at the One Health Fair to explore the variety of sustainable and healthy products and services available in Laos

The event, which is open to the public with no entrance fees, will host panel discussions and motivational talks from experts involved in the relevant fields. Families, students and children are invited to participate in fun and educational activities, visit more than 30 booths displaying products, projects and initiatives, support their favorite chefs and get expert advice on healthy cooking at the plant-based cooking competition “Pick, Peal, Heal”.