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Govt and WOAH Collaborate to Strengthen One Health Approach for Pandemic Preparedness

In a world where the health of wildlife, domestic animals, and humans is deeply intertwined, the "One Health" approach of cooperation and coordination remains pivotal for a sustainable future.

Shivam Dwivedi
Govt and WOAH Collaborate to Strengthen One Health Approach for Pandemic Preparedness (Photo Source: PIB)
Govt and WOAH Collaborate to Strengthen One Health Approach for Pandemic Preparedness (Photo Source: PIB)

In a proactive move to bolster pandemic preparedness and reinforce the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, partnered with the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) to organize a groundbreaking workshop.

The event, titled "Risk-based management of spill over events in wildlife in India," took place at the Radisson Hyderabad Hitec City from the 11th to the 12th of September 2023. The inaugural ceremony of the workshop featured esteemed figures such as Dr. Abhijit Mitra, the Animal Husbandry Commissioner, and Dr. Hirofumi Kugita, the WOAH Regional Representative for Asia Pacific.

Furthermore, the workshop drew participation from 13 experts from ICAR-National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (NIVEDI) and the Centre for Wildlife IVRI, with observers from WHO, FAO, USAID Rise, and the One Health Support Unit (OHSU).

The primary objectives of the workshop were fourfold: to enrich stakeholders' understanding of wildlife-origin disease risk analysis, conduct a comprehensive gap analysis of India's risk assessment and management, simulate disease spillover scenarios, and promote communication and awareness among relevant stakeholders. In pursuit of these objectives, the workshop comprised seven sessions, including two dedicated to risk analysis simulations – one for a hypothetical disease labeled as "Disease X" and another tailored specifically to India's unique circumstances.

The workshop's conclusion was marked by intensive discussions on the path forward, with a resounding emphasis on cross-sectoral collaboration and the adoption of a One Health approach. The overarching aim is to secure a safer and more sustainable future for wildlife, ecosystems, as well as human and domestic animal health.

The imperative for such collaborative efforts has been brought to the forefront by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has underscored the necessity for countries and regions to fortify their preparedness in the face of future pandemics.

WOAH is actively engaged in collaborative endeavors with key partners in the Quadripartite, comprising the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to address these pressing concerns.

The collaborative efforts of WOAH and the Government of India in organizing this workshop exemplify their unwavering commitment to building a safer, healthier, and more sustainable world for all.

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