Experts call for coordinated One Health mechanism in Kerala
Even as Zoonoses Day is observed around the world on Wednesday, there is a strong demand for a coordinated One Health mechanism for the continued surveillance of zoonotic diseases and their management in the state.
The recent outbreak of anthrax in wild boars in Athirappilly area of Thrissur district and the death of a student in Palakkad due to rabies calls for wider consultations between various sectors to prevent such cases in the ‘coming.
“The majority of new emerging zoonotic diseases originate in animals, particularly wildlife, and their emergence is associated with human activities, including changes in ecosystems and land use, intensification of agriculture, urbanization and international travel and trade. A collaborative and multidisciplinary approach, spanning animal, human and environmental health, is needed to understand the ecology of each emerging zoonotic disease in order to undertake risk assessment and develop response and control plans,” said B. Sunil, Professor and Director, Department of Veterinary Public Health, Kerala University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (KVASU).
“Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of the One Health concept, and we need the veterinary, medical and wildlife communities to fully embrace the concept,” Dr. Sunil said. Although the university set up the first One Health Center in the country a decade ago to address the problem, the lack of a policy framework to link the sectors still hampers progress in implementing the concept. , he added.
The One Health concept has also been integrated into the veterinary curriculum at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, he said, adding that the fuller engagement of the medical community in the future may require the incorporation of the One Health concept into medical school curricula so that students see it as an essential component in the context of public health and infectious diseases.
Current health problems are complex, transboundary, multifactorial and interspecific, and if approached from a stand-alone medical, veterinary or ecological perspective, it will be difficult to come up with sustainable mitigation strategies, VK Vinod said, Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine. Public Health, KVASU.