ONE HEALTH APPROACH
What is the news : The concept of ‘One Health’ approach that targets people, animals, was recently discussed at World Veterinary Day, on April 24, 2021.
- Rudolf Virchow, emphasised in 1856 that there are essentially no dividing lines between animal and human medicine
- Studies indicate that more than two-thirds of existing and emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, or can be transferred between animals and humans, and vice versa, when the pathogen in question originates in any life form but circumvents the species barrier.
- Another category of diseases, “anthropozoonotic” infections, gets transferred from humans to animals.
- The transboundary impact of viral outbreaks in recent years such as the Nipah virus, Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Avian Influenza has further reinforced the need for us to consistently document the linkages between the environment, animals, and human health
MAINS QUESTION : ANALYSE THE NEED FOR A OF ‘ONE HEALTH’ APPROACH THAT TARGETS PEOPLE & ANIMALS
Scientists have observed that there are more than 1.7 million viruses circulating in wildlife, and many of them are likely to be zoonotic, which implies that unless there is timely detection, India risks facing many more pandemics in times to come.
INDIA’S ‘ONE HEALTH’ VISION
- India’s ‘One Health’ vision derives its blueprint from the agreement between the tripartite-plus alliance comprising the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) — a global initiative supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank under the overarching goal of contributing to ‘One World, One Health’.
- In keeping with the long-term objectives, India established a National Standing Committee on Zoonoses as far back as the 1980s. And this year, funds were sanctioned for setting up a ‘Centre for One Health’ at Nagpur.
- The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) has launched several schemes to mitigate the prevalence of animal diseases since 2015, with a funding pattern along the lines of 60:40 (Centre: State); 90:10 for the North-eastern States, and 100% funding for Union Territories.
- The government is working to revamp programmes that focus on capacity building for veterinarians and upgrading the animal health diagnostic system such as Assistance to States for Control of Animal Diseases (ASCAD).
- In the revised component of assistance to States/Union Territories, there is increased focus on vaccination against livestock diseases and backyard poultry.
- Veterinary manpower shortages
- Lack of information sharing between human and animal health institutions
- Inadequate coordination on food safety at slaughter, distribution, and retail facilities.
- Consolidating existing animal health and disease surveillance systems — e.g., the Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health, and the National Animal Disease Reporting System
- Developing best-practice guidelines for informal market and slaughterhouse operation (e.g., inspections, disease prevalence assessments)
- Creating mechanisms to operationalise ‘One Health’ at every stage down to the village level.