Context: The government launched the “Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative (APPI)” as well as the World Bank-funded Animal Health System Support for One Health (AHSSOH) project under the aegis of the National One Health Mission.
About One Health:
- One Health is an integrating idea that brings different sectors together to solve the health, productivity, and conservation challenges and has major implications for India.
- WHO formed a One Health Initiative to integrate work on human, animal, and environmental health across the Organization.
- WHO is also working with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) as a One Health Quadripartite.
Present Scenario In India:
- The Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) approved to set up of a National One Health Mission with a cross-ministerial effort that will serve to coordinate, support, and integrate all the existing One Health activities in the country and fill gaps where it is appropriate.
- The Mission aims to coordinate across achieving overall pandemic preparedness and integrated disease control against priority diseases of both human and animal sectors, with early warning systems built on integrated surveillance systems and response readiness for endemic as well as an emerging epidemic or pandemic threats.
- The Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, launched in 2004 for disease outbreak detection and rapid response functions, has generated information on the flow of certain disease outbreaks but the program has been unable to integrate human and animal (livestock and wildlife) surveillance.
- A multi-disciplinary Road Map to Combat Zoonoses (2008) was laid to create an integrated mechanism for the surveillance, detection, and treatment of zoonoses.
Benefits of One Health:
- Reduce potential threats at the human-animal-environment interface to control diseases that spread between animals and humans
- Tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
- Ensure food safety
- Prevent environment-related health threats to humans and animals
- Protect biodiversity.
- Spread of disease: About 60 per cent of the known infectious diseases in humans and 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases are caused by pathogens that originate in animals.
- Antibiotic-resistant microbes also can effectively be transmitted from animals to humans and cause diseases in humans which may not respond to affordable antibiotics.
- Extensive and irrational use of antibiotics especially in the livestock sector for increasing yield and preventing diseases causes emergence and selection of resistant pathogens. These spread through animal-human interaction or food chain.
- Absence of standardized methods to measure the complexity of the benefits achieved from the holistic approach.
- Lack of systematic methodology to prove the nature of health impacts across the animal and human health sectors.
- Lack of agreement in leadership issues, resource allocation, and work distribution.
Steps taken globally and by the India
- Collaboration: Institutes like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have collaborated for joint research priorities, mostly to control disease outbreaks and also at individual levels between human and animal health researchers as well as practitioners.
- The Integrated Disease Surveillance Project: launched in 2004 for disease outbreak detection and rapid response functions, has generated several information on flow of certain disease outbreaks but the programme has been unable to integrate human and animal (livestock and wildlife) surveillance.
- A multi-disciplinary Road Map to Combat Zoonoses: was laid to create an integrated mechanism for surveillance, detection and treatment of zoonoses.
- The National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-being built on a framework that integrates biodiversity, ecosystem services, climate change, agriculture, health, bio-economy and capacity-building in the realm of biodiversity science has one mission component that explicitly links biodiversity to human health through the One Health approach.
- The Government of India decided to set up a dedicated centre under ICMR to contain zoonotic diseases: the Centre for One Health at Nagpur, and also constituted a ‘National Expert Group on One Health’ to promote multi-sectoral, transdisciplinary, collaboration and co-operation to adopt and implement a One Health framework in India.
- National Framework for One Health 2021 by FAO: Improving the capacity for public health actions in major stakeholders human health, animal health and environment management.
India has combatted several zoonotic diseases and has a robust institutional network for biomedical research, which can lead and operationalize the One Health approach. For One Health Science, it is important to develop databases and models with a consolidated approach of ecologists, field biologists, epidemiologists, and other scientists.
Understanding and responding to the drivers that threaten health; optimising the effectiveness of public health systems in achieving these goals within each sector. Therefore, a nexus of science, social science, indigenous knowledge, and policy at national, state, and local levels can put forward strategies and institutions for the implementation of One Health.
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