The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of ‘One Health’ ideas in infectious disease management, particularly efforts to prevent and control zoonotic illnesses around the world. The risk of infectious agents capable of crossing species boundaries is rising, owing to the possibility for novel infectious agents to spread quickly over the world as a result of increased travel, eating habits, and cross-border trade. Such infections have catastrophic consequences for animals, humans, health systems, and economies, necessitating years of social and economic rehabilitation. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, recognised the urgent need and funded a major effort.
Through video conference, Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, launched the DBT’s First ‘One Health’ programme. This initiative aims to monitor major bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases caused by zoonotic and transboundary pathogens in India, especially the country’s north-eastern region. For surveillance and understanding the transmission of emerging illnesses, existing diagnostic tests must be used, and new approaches must be developed when needed.
Dr. Renu Swarup, speaking during the program’s introduction, said that the Consortium, which is led by DBT-National Institute of Animal Biotechnology in Hyderabad, is one of the largest single health programmes introduced by the government of India since COVID. AIIMS, Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur, IVRI, Bareily, GADVASU, Ludhiana, TANUVAS, Chennai, MAFSU, Nagpur, Assam agriculture and veterinary university, and many more ICAR, ICMR centres and wild life agencies make up the One Health consortium. Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT, then used video conferencing to open the International mini-symposium on “Essentials of One Health.” In her inaugural lecture, Dr. Swarup underlined the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to understanding human, animal, and wildlife health in order to reduce the devastation caused by future pandemics.