‘One Health’ holistic plan to link human, animal health- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The city civic body has kickstarted the concept of ‘One Health’, a multi-sectoral collaboration which is being stressed on by the World Health Organisation to tackle intricate global health problems affecting people, animals and ecosystems.

A detailed plan of action has been drawn up to interlink animal health, human health and environmental health, with collaboration between various departments and NGOs. Also, a Metropolitan Health Surveillance Unit, which will be a centralised nodal diagnostic lab to take care of all surveillance activities, will soon be set up in Bommanahalli.

Dr K V Thrilok Chandra, Special Commissioner, BBMP (Health) told TNIE that ‘One Health’ plan has already been kickstarted in BBMP limits. “Apart from human health, we are also concentrating on animal health, beginning with canine population. We are ensuring there is aggressive rabies vaccination drive and neutering of dogs through Animal Birth Control programme under the Rabies Prevention and Control Programme. 

Also, wet markets in the city have been identified and we are ensuring a detailed analysis of these markets is done, and cleanliness is maintained. The animal husbandry division of the BBMP, veterinary colleges and research centres will be monitoring this,” he said.

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

Key areas for the centre will be studies on environmental change, quality and capacity building. It will also work on research for vaccines, medicines and diagnostic kits. However, Dr Jacob John, renowned virologist from CMC Vellore, said ‘One Health’ is a decade-old good concept. Implementation requires organised management of human infectious diseases and animal infectious diseases.

“We don’t have either,” he remarked. “India is way behind other countries. We don’t even have verifiable data, we have no policy to control even diseases like cholera, typhoid fever on the human health side. And do we know from where dogs are getting rabies?”

What is One Health?
Animal health, human health and environ-mental health are intrinsically intertwined and interdependent. The health of one affects the health of all. ‘One Health’ is a collaborative global programme to understand and manage risks for planetary health and encourage a more sustainable ecosystem balance.