Circular health is a new paradigm for advancing health. It bears its roots in the One Health principle, which recognizes that human health is closely interconnected with that of animals, plants and the environment, but aspires to be more inclusive and contemporary. It recognizes big data as a source of innovation and considers non-biomedical disciplines essential for the advancement of health as a system.
The convergence of crises we are experiencing, from the ramifications of Covid-19 to the ongoing climate crisis and the global food crisis – derive largely from the imbalances that have been created between the four elements that directly or indirectly govern our health. I refer to the delicate relationships that exist between water, air, earth and fire, an ancient inspiration which is more and more obvious today.
The earth feeds us and offers us biodiversity, water quenches our thirst and hydrates us and is necessary for life, the sun warms us and gives us light, and air is essential in allowing us to breathe and provides us with oxygen.
We are all communicating vessels, equally immersed in the environment and we are entirely dependent on it for what we eat, drink, breathe and from the health of the other creatures that live on Earth. Needless to say that our health and that of the planet as a system depends on our behavior. Our health and that of our ‘common home’ is also governed by many other drivers including the quality of information, ethics, law, economic resources and international relations.
Health and sustainability
Circular Health is a systemic approach to health that identifies health as a fundamental value and human right, which should become the focus of sustainability policies. The SDG roadmap can serve as implementation tool for convergence of efforts and win-win solutions.