Karnataka will be one of two States where the ‘One Health’ programme will be piloted, the other State being Uttarakhand.
Set to be launched on June 28, the pilot will be used to develop a national One Health Framework, a key objective of the One Health Support Unit (OHSU) initiated by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), Government of India.
The framework is aimed at improving national and State-level resource allocation and policy ecosystem on early prediction, detection, and diagnosis of zoonotic diseases through increased quality, availability, and utility of data evidence.
Speaking to The Hindu, Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, DAHD, said, “At the global level, four organisations — World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Organisation for Animal Health, and the United Nations Environment Programme — have joined together to work out strategies as far as the inter-relatedness and the way to move forward for One Health are concerned. As a concept, it is assumed that any health matters are all interrelated with each other and we cannot treat human, animal or wildlife health in isolation,” he said.
Six specific interventions for One Health (OH) project
Establishing an inter-sectoral coordination mechanism at the central and State-levels
One Health Gap Assessment at the federal level and for selected States
Pilot of One Health platform in selected States
Integration with the digital architecture of the National Digital Livestock Mission
Creating a roadmap for scaling up the OH programme at the national level
Developing and implementing the OH communication strategy
In India, the government has been taking many initiatives to arrive at implementing the One Health concept, he added. “Since the bridge between the human and wildlife health are the domesticated animals, which are the carriers of a lot of diseases between human beings and wildlife, or which starts from the livestock sector and gets transferred to human health, the DAHD decided to operationalise this concept where all three platforms start talking and reporting to each other and do capacity building so we start asking the right questions to each other,” he explained.
Apart from an apex inter-ministerial governance committee chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, a Project Steering Committee (PSC) chaired by the Secretary, DAHD, comprising of authorities from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, ICAR, civil societies, international development organisations, and field practitioners. Along with this, there will be a State-Level One Health Committee (SLOHC).
The two States were chosen, said Mr. Chaturvedi, based on an exercise of identifying operational parameters — infrastructure related to diagnostic facilities, digital interventions, occurrences of zoonotic diseases, responsiveness, and proactive administration in responding to those diseases, and non-operational parameters such as human-animal interaction index, ecosystem health index, health infrastructure index, and livestock disease diversity index — on which all States were graded. The top five States based on this were Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Assam, Maharashtra, and Odisha in that order, of which the top two States were chosen.
The pilot in Uttarakhand was launched in April. Based on the recommendations of the PSC, six interventions have been planned for the pilot in Uttarakhand and Karnataka, including institutionalising the mechanism for data collection on disease outbreak, prevalence, management, and development of targeted surveillance. It also entails integrating the network of laboratories with a focus on strengthening communication and lab testing capacities around zoonotic diseases, developing a communication strategy across sectors with an emphasis on livestock and animal health-related issues, and integration of the data with the digital architecture of the National Digital Livestock Mission to enable the analytics needed for the development of One Health Programme.