Need for multi-stakeholder collaboration on One Health

New Delhi, 6th July 2018: The first national conference on Anti-Microbial Resistance and 8th Annual National Conference on Prevention of Zoonotic diseases of Public Health Importance was held at the Vardhman Mahavir Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi. The conference marked the World Zoonosis Day which falls on 6th July every year. It was organized by the Millennium India Education Foundation, VMMC & SJ Hospital, Heart Care Foundation of India, IMA New Delhi Branch and MEDTalks.

Over 150 medical and veterinary doctors from Delhi and neighboring states participated in the conference. The participants exchanged their experiences on diseases communicable from animals to humans such as Japanese Encephalitis, Ebola, Zika, CCHF. They expressed the need for inter-sectoral partnerships given the rapid influx of diseases world over, which have started crossing species barriers and taking human populations by surprise.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Dr N N Mathur, Principal, VMMC and SJ Hospital, said, “Six out of every ten infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals. One Health recognizes that the health of people is connected to that of animals, plants, and the environment. The goal of One Health is to encourage the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines, working locally, nationally, and globally, towards achieving the best health outcomes for people, animals and the environment.”

About 60% of all known human infections and 75% of emerging infectious diseases are Zoonotic in nature. According to a global study, India is one of the ‘hotspots’ for such diseases, particularly TB, bird flu, swine flu, and Japanese Encephalitis.

Adding his views, Chief Guest, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “The animal, human, and environmental health are inextricably linked, and it is very important to promote and protect the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration among veterinary, medical, and environmental professionals. The use of antibiotics in human, veterinary medicine, and other agricultural activities has resulted in antibiotic resistance. This phenomenon is on the rise not only because of their inappropriate use in human medicine but also due to practices in the agricultural industry.”

There are more than 300 infectious agents that spread infections through various modes of transmission. Of the 1415 microbial diseases affecting humans, 66% are zoonotic with 13% of the species regarded as emerging or re-emerging. Among emerging infectious diseases, 75% are zoonotic with wildlife being one of the major sources of infection.

” The conference should resolve to write to MCI to have a department of one health in every medical college. Primary prevention will only start when we talk about prevention of diseases in the animals, birds or insects” added Dr Aggarwal

Addressing the conference, Dr Uday Kakroo, said, “This conference focused on multi-disciplinary collaboration for promoting animal and human health. It was also aimed at creating a common platform of interaction for veterinary, medical, and environmental professionals and help them share experiences in preventing the spread of Zoonotic diseases.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Practice rational use of drugs antibiotics
  • Use when needed and according to guidelines
  • Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics without appropriate diagnosis
  • Prevent infections with the use of vaccination and by improving basic hygiene including hand hygiene and infection control techniques and sanitation in health care settings as well as in the community
  • Farmers and food industry must stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.