LAHORE: Punjab’s Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said on Thursday that in a changing world, a One Health vision will need to be adopted, which recognizes that the health of people is closely linked to the health of animals, plants and the shared environment.
Speaking as the main guest at a One Health awareness seminar organized by the Policy and Strategic Planning Unit, the Department of Primary and Secondary Health Care and USAID, the Minister of Health said One Health has become an essential part of the Punjab health sector strategy 2019-29.
The secretary of the Primary and Secondary Health Care Department Sarah Aslam, the South Punjab Health Secretary Ajmal Bhatti, the Vice-Chancellor of Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Professor Amir Zaman Khan, the PHA President, Engineer Yasir Gillani, PSPU Director, Dr Shagufta Zareen, Professor Javed Chaudhry, Dr Zahida Sarwar, representatives from the World Health Organization, USAID, Department of Food, Environment and Faculty Members. The ceremony began with the recitation and the national anthem. PSPU Director Dr Shagufta Zareen outlined the philosophy and goals of One Health.
The Minister of Health said: “The One Health project is launched in Punjab in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. I greatly appreciate the PSPU team for organizing this seminar to raise awareness and highlight its importance in an ever-changing world. The evolution of One Health as an integrated theme is a milestone. We will ask Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to form a working group on the theme of one health. Health is a great blessing. Prevention is better than cure. Without the support of all stakeholders, the One Health project cannot be completed.
The letter to the UK government from the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Dr Faisal Sultan to remove Pakistan’s name from Corona’s Red List is a big step. The Punjab faces a number of rabies-related deaths each year. Rabies vaccine is available in sufficient numbers at DHQ and CHR. We will have to focus on animal health and the environment. The integrated concept of human, animal and environmental health has been with us for ages. The Punjab also reports a large number of water-borne illnesses. Man is strongly affected by his environment. A large number of diseases are linked to environmental pollution.
A number of measures are taken to combat dengue fever. Industrial pollution affects human lives. After the establishment of the working group by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, all institutions will work together. Since taking over, we have been particularly focused on disease prevention and plan to save hundreds of thousands of children from many diseases through preventive interventions. The role of NCOC is critical in controlling COVID-19 and vaccinating the maximum population. “