Q.) What do you understand about “one health”? Why India needs a one health vision to take emerging zoonotic threats like covid-19.

Ans– One health is a concept of interconnecting multi-disciplinary health approaches by human, animal, and environment interface. it required collaboration, coordination, and dialogue among local, regional, national and global levels so that emerging Institutions and communicable disasters could be dealt with properly.

Current status of zoonotic threats–

  1. According to various Global reports, 75% of infectious diseases are caused by the animal to human transmission.
  2. New states of anthroponotic (a disease in animals due to humans). example– covid-19 infections in dogs and cats etc.
  3. Various model Provides that due to a population increase from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050 and population critics world is more fragile for zoonotic disease and antimicrobial resistance.

It is commonly acknowledged that biodiversity is essential to maintaining the planet. However, until the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a powerful example in 2020 that no one could ignore, any discussion of its crucial role in promoting public health was primarily restricted to a few specialized groups.

Zoonotic diseases, or illnesses that humans and animals catch from one another, are on the rise (WHO-FAO-OIE 2019), according to UNEP-ILRI 2020, and they are frequently directly related to the decline in biodiversity brought on by extensive human interference with natural ecosystems (WHO-CBD 2015; Berthe et al 2018). According to Gibb et al. (2020), human dominance over ecosystems raises the likelihood of zoonoses occurrence, and it is well recognized that the loss of biodiversity increases the probability of disease onset (Halliday et al 2020).

Scope of one health–

  1. Land use pattern and Agriculture.
  2. Socio-cultural practices.
  3. Research and development.
  4. Health infrastructure.
  5. Disaster management.
  6. Livestock and fishery management.
  7. Economic growth.
  8. Transboundary spread control.

India is a tropical location and the second largest population country forces the significant threat of human stress and covid had taken every nook and cons of India and world.

Need for one health in India–

  1. Social factor– high population pressure with 17% of livestock and poor availability of health infrastructure.
    • Patient and doctor ratio are– 1300:1 (less than WHO standard).
    • Technological backwardness.
    • More population in rural areas with fewer hospitals.
    • Lack of tertiary care facilities.
    • Poor ration services availability in most of the country.
    • Cultural practices such as mass bathing in rivers (Kumbh) and festival gatherings cause viruses to mutate rapidly.
    • Taboos and ethnic backwardness in tribal and marginal even causing a great threat.
  2. Economical factor– poor fund availability and allocation towards human relations.
    • Less investment in research and development because the country has a huge burden of socio-economic upliftment.
    • In discriminated consumption due to lack of food availability.
    • Example– net market, slaughterhouses.
  3. Geopolitical factor– South Asia is the reason for the maximum poor and a hungry number of people causing the thread to animal and plant-based exploitation.
  4. Governance– poor monitoring of the animal market.
    • Lack of veterinary services.
    • Regional imbalance in quality health facilities.
    • Example- Bihar has one doctor for every 10,000 patients.
  5. Environmental– Rapid deforestation.
    • Pollution.
    • Ocean level rise and Marine ecosystem stress.
    • Loopholes of WPA of 1972.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the complex relationship between public health and the alteration of natural landscapes, which extends beyond simple environmental issues. Systemic factors like widespread biodiversity loss that contribute to the emergence and re-emergence of these illnesses have received little attention. This article describes the institutional public and animal health networks in India that are involved in the monitoring and management of zoonoses. It is demonstrated that gaps in the implementation of a One Health framework in India result from the absence of a systematic framework that expressly engages institutions that manage biodiversity and wildlife health.

To address these gaps, a supra-ministerial mechanism that integrates social, veterinary, ecological, and public health sciences is needed.
Recently India learned its lesson from covid-19. now government with UNICEF, UNESCO, FAO, and WHO Coordinating for one health and established various institutes such as the Nation National Institute of bioscience and real-time disaster monitoring is what is the ray of hope.

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