‘One Health’ Holistic Plan to Link Human and Animal Health – The New Indian Express

Express press service

BENGALURU: The city’s civic body pioneered the concept of “One Health,” a multi-sectoral collaboration emphasized by the World Health Organization to tackle complex global health issues affecting people, animals and ecosystems.

A detailed action plan has been drawn up to articulate animal health, human health and environmental health, with collaboration between the various departments and NGOs. In addition, a Metropolitan Health Surveillance Unit, which will be a centralized nodal diagnostic laboratory to handle all surveillance activities, will soon be set up in Bommanahalli.

Dr. KV Thrilok Chandra, Special Commissioner, BBMP (Health) told TNIE that the “One Health” plan has already been launched within the boundaries of the BBMP. “In addition to human health, we are also focusing on animal health, starting with the dog population. We ensure that there is an aggressive campaign of rabies vaccination and neutering of dogs through the animal birth control program as part of the rabies prevention and control program.

In addition, wet markets in the city have been identified and we ensure that a detailed analysis of these markets is carried out and that cleanliness is maintained. The BBMP livestock division, veterinary schools and research centers will monitor this,” he said.

Meanwhile, as part of environmental surveillance, the commissioner said surveillance has been stepped up not only to identify SARS-CoV-2, but other diseases as well. According to officials, the surveillance unit will help promote integrated disease surveillance and research work.

The center’s key areas will be environmental change studies, quality and capacity building. It will also work on research for vaccines, drugs and diagnostic kits. However, renowned CMC Vellore virologist Dr. Jacob John said “One Health” is a good decade-old concept. Implementation requires organized management of human infectious diseases and animal infectious diseases.

“We don’t have either,” he remarked. “India is far behind other countries. We don’t even have verifiable data, we don’t have any policy to control even diseases like cholera, typhoid fever from human health side. And do we know where dogs get rabies from?

What is One Health?
Animal health, human health and environmental health are intrinsically linked and interdependent. The health of one affects the health of all. One Health is a collaborative global program to understand and manage planetary health risks and encourage a more sustainable ecosystem balance.

Boyd S. Abbott