On 3 November, India celebrated the International One Health Day, which aims to drive awareness around the shared health threats at the human-animal-environment interface. The idea becomes especially important after the covid pandemic.
The department of animal husbandry and dairying (DAHD) is engaging with various other departments to tackle the rising threat of zoonotic diseases that transmit from animals to humans. Atul Chaturvedi, secretary, department of animal husbandry and dairying, spoke to Mint about the One Health approach. Edited excerpts from an interview
What is the importance of the One Health approach in India?
Post-pandemic India must take a holistic approach towards health. With increased connection between animals and humans, we face threats of zoonotic disease outbreaks that can have a devastating impact on the society and economy. The One Health approach will be key in addressing human-animal interactions and their impacts. The One Health implementation is still at a nascent stage in India and needs efforts from all stakeholders to strengthen its framework.
How do you think the One Health approach is important with regard to mitigating future pandemics?
The covid-19 pandemic has showcased the devastating impacts that a disease outbreak can have on human life and has raised awareness about and accelerated the implementation of One Health in India and globally.
The One Health approach has been recognized and is being implemented to achieve human well-being and for the development of social and environmental ecosystems.
The One Health framework will help in prediction, early detection, prevention, tracking and control of public health challenges and emergencies and mitigate endemic zoonotic infections and outbreaks.
How is your department implementing the One Health framework in India?
The One Health framework is being implemented with a multi-stakeholder approach, bringing together stakeholders from the public as well as the private sector. The Government of India is committed to focusing its resources on improving the health and security of livestock and people. This will be achieved by building and strengthening India’s One Health system, including animal and human disease surveillance; workforce development; improved laboratory infrastructure; rapid outbreak detection, reporting and response; biosecurity in animal production systems, and by building human capital and community awareness.
The recent announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the establishment of a National Institution for One Health as part of the PM Ayushman scheme is a step forward in accelerating our efforts.
Source : Mint )8 Nov 2021 by Neetu Chandra Sharma