What does the One Health concept mean?
It has been seen in the recent past that various health-related issues with enormous socio-economic impact across the world are emerging. These include the emergence of new infections, the re-emergence of existing diseases that are often overlooked, the detection of antimicrobial resistance at the human-animal-environment interface, and the influence of climate change on vector-borne diseases. and vector epidemiology.
Global health faces increasing threats posed by emerging zoonoses impacted by the loss of hundreds of billions of US dollars causing massive economic damage over the past 20 years. It is estimated that 1.7 million viral species circulate among wildlife and 50% of them have the potential to cause human infections. The emergence of new viruses and pandemics is generally influenced by socio-environmental factors.
In addition to this, growing food security issues due to changing food preferences and global warming are also of great concern to various sectors which cannot be effectively addressed by remaining confined to respective professional silos. Implement the Health The concept on the ground is the need of the hour when collaborative synergistic efforts can be enjoyed to achieve optimal health for people, pets, wildlife, plants and the environment.
The Health The concept recognizes that animal health, human health and the environment are interconnected and interdependent. Although many steps have been taken to promote the concept of Health across nations, as well as in India, we must recognize the urgency of implementing this concept now, more than ever, with the onset of the pandemic. Clearly, the pandemic has hampered the progress of all development indicators, therefore, the Health The approach should help in the early detection, prevention and control of public health emergencies (e.g. Covid-19) and mitigation of endemic zoonotic infections.
How does the One Health Concept aim to fight zoonoses?
It is now well known that over the past three decades, more than two-thirds of emerging infectious diseases in humans have been found to originate from animals. These diseases can be mitigated with the help of a strong animal health surveillance system, including wildlife.
Controlling zoonotic pathogens at their animal source is not only important for animal health, it is also the most effective and economical way to protect people. Our efforts are more anthropocentric, there can be no more solid argument to expand and reinvent the entire livestock sector for disease prevention, control and surveillance to minimize the threat to human health.
The initiative of the Department of Livestock and Dairy Production (DAHD) to implement a Health framework through the creation of a Single Health Support Unit (OHSU) will strengthen systemic capacity to better manage animal health and reduce disease incidence nationally and internationally.
DAHD has initiated the implementation of the National Animal Disease Control Program (NADCP) for foot-and-mouth disease and brucellosis, a major zoonotic infection chronically affecting humans. Together with MoHFW, we are developing the National Action Plan for the Elimination of Dog-Transmitted Rabies (NAPRE) in India, which would lead to the eradication of dreaded diseases. In addition, the department has worked closely with the Office of the Principal Science Advisor of the Government of India to develop an end-to-end digital platform for the livestock sector, and also aims to create a unique identification number. (UID) for animals and their registration on the INAPH will contribute to real-time notification of livestock diseases and active disease surveillance.
How can the One Health concept be effectively and efficiently implemented in India?
Initiate and maintain the dynamics of Health This approach requires leveraging the cooperation and strengths of various sectors – both public and private – including livestock, human health, wildlife, environment, technology and finance to develop solutions to these challenges. local, national and global.
DAHD will focus on interventions aimed at overcoming challenges related to shortages of veterinary personnel, limitations of diagnostic services and epidemiological support, lack of information sharing between human and animal health institutions and inadequate coordination. on food safety in slaughter, distribution and retail facilities.
Strengthening the livestock sector is one of the prerequisites for the effective implementation of One Health. Therefore, strengthening the infrastructure and skills of animal health systems in terms of epidemiological, laboratory and field response capacities would greatly contribute to the implementation of the concept.
All sectors concerned with One Health should come into a formal institutionalized mechanism for harmonized efforts to address these cross-links in order to successfully prevent the spread of disease to the human population. In addition to this, there is also a need to foster a policy environment that allows for the building of basic capacities in order to respond to the challenges of SIA.