- 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.
- India with its diverse wildlife, one of the largest livestock populations, and high-density human population carry heightened risks for the inter-compartmental spread of diseases.
- The Covid pandemic, recent outbreaks of Lumpy Skin Disease in cattle, and the constant threat of Avian Influenza show that it is not just about addressing diseases from a human health point of view (zoonosis) but we need to address the livestock and wildlife aspects.
- This also opens opportunities for leveraging the complementarity and strengths that are inherent in each sector and devising integrated, robust, and agile response systems.
About Recent Initiatives
- Animal Health System Support for One Health(AHSSOH): It aims 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 the 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 collaborative project will be implemented over a five-year period as a Central sector scheme with a financial provision of Rs. 1228.70 Cr.
- Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative (APPI)
- It will create an “integrated disease reporting system for enhanced surveillance of zoonotic and other animal diseases
- The key activities under APPI which are at different stages of execution are as follows:
- Defined joint investigation and outbreak response teams (National & state)
- Design an overall integrated disease surveillance system (built on National Digital Livestock Mission)
- Strengthening the Regulatory system (e.g., Nandi online portal and Field trial guidelines)
- Creating disease modelling algorithms and early warning systems
- Strategizing Disaster Mitigation with National Disaster Management Authority
- Initiate targeted R&D to develop vaccines/diagnostics/therapies for priority diseases
- Build genomic and environmental surveillance methods to improve the timeliness and sensitivity of disease detection
What is 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Institutionalise strong, continuous, and mutually beneficial coordination and collaboration between all stakeholders through multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional joint planning and implementation
- 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.