First ever ‘One Health India Summit’ held in Delhi

The two-day event witnessed discussions over challenges and solutions regarding inter-connectivity of human health, animal health, food, and environment

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New Delhi: The inaugural summit on ‘One Health’, organized by Cornell Sathguru Foundation for Development was recently inaugurated by Dr Eshwar Reddy, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and Dr S R Rao, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in Delhi.

The two-day summit held on 3rd-4th May brought together some of the best academicians and participants from the Government of India and industry to discuss the future of One health and how little changes can affect and impact all concerned. The participants at the event gained a deeper and broader understanding on how interconnected healthcare, food and environment is, and the need to encourage the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to achieve the best health for people, animals, and our environment.

Speaking at the event, the DCGI, Dr Eswara Reddy announced the creation of a veterinary cell at the Central Drug Standards Control Organization (CDSCO). The same was well applauded by the industry members present on the occasion.

The participants are drawn from DCGI, CDSCO, FSSAI, FAO, WHO India Office, NCDC, DBT, Wellcome Trust, CDC India Office, DAHD. Cornell University, TANUVAS. University of Hyderabad and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Pushpa VijayaraghavanDirector, Sathguru Management Consultants, and Summit Chair, mentioned, “Interconnections of human health, animal health, food and environment can no longer be ignored and the idea of the “One Health Concept” is in essence, to appreciate the wealth of opportunity that lies in the interface area of this triad, which could be capitalized on, to protect the health of our planet as a whole”.

Anti-Microbial Resistance

AMR is one of the cross-cutting challenges across the human and animal health continuum, with concerns looming at multiple points of the food chain. The pervasive use of antibiotics in humans, as well as animals, has rendered several strains of microbes (bacteria, viruses) to develop resistance to anti-microbial therapies (antibiotics, antivirals).

Zoonosis, Vaccines & Surveillance

The 60% of all disease-causing pathogens are of animal origin and 75% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic in nature. Many zoonotic diseases contribute significantly to global disease burden, including rabies, brucellosis, and avian influenza to name a few. While science has advanced to a level that prophylactic as well as therapeutic options exist for most of these diseases, yet, controlling these zoonotic pathogens at its animal source remain a big broken thread in the continuum.

Food Safety

Food safety is another integral issue that is at the heart of the One Health Concept, as the food chain inevitably interlinks the worlds of humans, animals and environment. CDC estimates 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from food borne diseases each year in the United States. With burgeoning incidences of food-borne illnesses, there is growing public awareness of food safety, food security and sustainability in food production practices.