The only way to protect us from future pandemics is through a holistic approach called One Health: Secretary, AHD

Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiatives and World Bank-funded Animal Health System Support for One Health (AHSSOH) to be launched on 14th April 2023

The only way to protect us from future pandemics is through a holistic approach called “One Health”, which focuses on the health of people, animals and the environment. Strong animal health systems are important as essential parts of the One Health approach and essential to support the food security and livelihoods of poor farmers and reduce the risk of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and zoonoses and Anti- Microbial Resistance (AMR).

It can be done through One Health initiatives which adequately prioritize animal health systems with focus and proper investment in strengthening national veterinary services with sufficient staff and infrastructure, and disease surveillance at crucial points, like border areas. This was highlighted by the Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Shri Rajesh Kumar Singh while briefing media persons in New Delhi today.

Having preparedness for such future animal pandemics is a key priority for the National One Health Mission. As a part of the upcoming National One Health Mission, the Department has conceived a focused framework of the “Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative (APPI)” for future animal pandemics and epidemics. The key activities under APPI which are at different stages of execution are as follows:

  1. Defined joint investigation and outbreak response teams (National & state)
  2. Design an overall integrated disease surveillance system (built on National Digital Livestock Mission)
  3. Strengthening the Regulatory system (e.g., Nandi online portal and Field trial guidelines)
  4. Creating disease modelling algorithms and early warning systems
  5. Strategizing Disaster Mitigation with National Disaster Management Authority
  6. Initiate targeted R&D to develop vaccines/diagnostics/therapies for priority diseases
  7. Build genomic and environmental surveillance methods to improve the timeliness and sensitivity of disease detection

Side event at upcoming G20 Health Working Group in Goa on April 20, 2023, to showcase initiatives related to One Health.

In the meantime, the Department has inked a collaborative project on the Animal Health System Support for One Health (AHSSOH) with the World Bank aiming to create an ecosystem for a better animal health management system using the One Health approach. The project will be implemented in five States and it envisages improving the capacity building of stakeholders involved in animal health and disease management. The project calls for participation by Human Health, Forest and Environment Department at the national, regional as well as local for creating and strengthening the One Health architecture including community engagement.

The Union FAHD  Minister, Shri Parshottam Rupala will be launching 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 National One Health Mission on 14th of April 2023 at India Habitat Center, New Delhi.

The project aims to cover 151 districts in five participating states, wherein it will target the upgradation of 75 district/regional laboratories, the upgradation/strengthening of 300 veterinary hospitals/dispensaries, aims to train 9000 para-veterinarians/diagnostic professionals and 5500 veterinary professionals. In addition to the above, there will be an awareness campaign on the prevention of zoonotic diseases and pandemic preparedness at the community level by reaching out to six lakh households.

The collaborative project will be implemented over a five-year period as a Central sector scheme with a financial provision of Rs. 1228.70 Cr. In addition to this, the project will develop an ecosystem for continuous training of veterinarians and para-veterinarians on innovative disease management practices apart from networking laboratories and integrating disease reporting systems for enhanced surveillance of zoonotic and other animal diseases.

These foundational activities will allow us to plan to fill an important gap that currently exists in India (as well as the world at large) which is the preparedness for pandemic diseases that impact animals.          

Several activities to mark of Celebration of “World Veterinary Day 2023” on 29th April

G20 Health Working Group Side Event Goa, April 20, 2023

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying is participating in the G20 Health Working Group Side event to be held on 20th April 2023 at Goa as a side event to the G20 Health Sector Meeting. The theme for the event is Strategy and Operationalization of the One Health Agenda. The event is organized by Asian Development Bank and UN Environment Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The event will be attended by  Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying along with Secretary, AHD, Animal Husbandry Commissioner and Joint Secretary Livestock Health.

There will be participation from the World Health Organisation, and World Animal Health Organisation (WOAH). This event will be a great opportunity for the Department to showcase the initiatives of the Department related to One Health like the launching of 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 National One Health Mission. Further, the Department has, with support from the Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation,  established the One Health Support Units and piloted One Health activities in 2 States of the countries i.e Uttarakhand and Karnataka. The Department has also carried out disease prioritization activity.

Celebration of “World Veterinary Day 2023”

International Veterinary Day honours the veterinary profession every year on the final Saturday in April. In order to recognize and celebrate the important roles of Veterinarians in animal and human health and welfare, food security, food quality and safety, ecology, drugs and pharmaceuticals development, biomedical research, and rural development, as educators, trainers, and policymakers, economic development through livestock production and management and in wildlife conservation, and the protection of the environment and biodiversity, safeguarding our country by preventing the threat of bioterrorism, The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying in close collaboration with Veterinary Council of India is going to celebrate World Veterinary Day- 2023 on 29th April 2023 at New Delhi at Vigyan Bhawan.

Stakeholders of the Veterinary profession across the nation will be invited to the Maga event. Main activities include conference and panel discussions on mainstream subjects including veterinary education and services in the country and the Role of vets in One Health.

Disclaimer: This is an official press release by pib.

Digpu News Staff

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