India's First One Health Consortium

India’s First One Health Consortium Launched On Thursday

COVID-19 pandemic signified the pertinence of ‘One Health’ concepts in the surveillance of contagious diseases, particularly in containing & preventing global transmittance of zoonotic diseases. The danger of infectious pathogens crossing species barriers is rising, primarily due to the competence of new pathogens to transmit quickly worldwide because of increased trade across borders, food habits, and travel. Such infections have detrimental effects on economies, health systems, humans, and animals, needing several years of economic & social recovery. Noticing this dire need, DBT (Department of Biotechnology), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India initiated a mega consortium named ‘One Health’.

This consortium aims to observe pertinent parasitic, viral, and bacterial infections of transboundary and zoonotic pathogens in India, even the northeastern regions of India.

DBT mentioned in a statement that the main focus of the study is the development of new techniques for understanding the transmittance of emerging pathological conditions & surveillance, and research the usage of existing diagnostic tests.

The secretary of DBT, Dr. Renu Swarup, inaugurated the initial ‘One Health’ project via video conferencing on 14th October 2021.

India's First One Health Consortium
One Health Approach. Image Credits: IDCM

Holistic Approach

Swarup highlighted that they

are aiming for a holistic method for understanding the health of wildlife, animals, and human to reduce the impairments caused by any future pandemics.

Swarup stated that the ‘One Health’ consortium consists of twenty-seven organizations supervised by Hyderabad’s DBT-NIAB (National Institute of Animal Biotechnology) and is one of the largest health projects initiated by the Indian government after the pandemic.

The consortium includes wildlife agencies, ICMR & ICAR centers, Assam veterinary & agricultural university, MAFSU (Nagpur), TANUVAS (Chennai), GADVASU (Ludhiana), IVRI (Bareilly), AIIMS (Jodhpur), AIIMS (Delhi), and many more.

Further, Swarup launched an international mini-symposium on ‘Essentials of One Health’ via video conferencing. National and international speakers discussed their opinions about nurturing & initiating the ‘One Health’ principle where the environment, plants, animals, and humans are required to be addressed equally for maintaining the safety & health of all.

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India’s First One Health Consortium

Further Read: Can We Predict Next Virus Spread From Animals to Humans With AI?