GoI and WOAH Come Together to Strengthen One Health Approach for Pandemic Preparedness

GG News Bureau

Hyderabad, 14th Sept. The Government of India’s Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, in collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), successfully organized a multi-sectoral workshop titled “Risk-based management of spill over events in wildlife in India” from September 11th to 12th, 2023, at the Radisson Hyderabad Hitec City in Hyderabad.

The workshop inaugurated by Animal Husbandry Commissioner, Dr Abhijit Mitra and WOAH Regional Representative for Asia Pacific, Dr Hirofumui Kugita featured distinguished experts from WOAH, including, Dr Paolo Tizzani, Dr Lesa Thompson, Dr Jacqueline Lusatand Dr Basilio Valdehuesa.

The event brought together 25 participants from Animal Husbandry, Human Health, and Wildlife sectors representing six Indian states, namely Kerala, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Telangana.

In addition to these, 13 experts from ICAR-National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (NIVEDI), and the Centre for Wildlife IVRI participated, with observers from WHO, FAO, USAID Rise, and the One Health Support Unit (OHSU).

The workshop focused on four key objectives on enhancing stakeholder knowledge about wildlife-origin disease risk analysis, conducting a thorough gap analysis of India’s risk assessment and management, simulating disease spillover scenarios, and fostering communication and awareness among relevant stakeholders.

The workshop concluded with discussions on the way forward, emphasizing the importance of a One Health approach, cross-sectoral collaboration, and pandemic preparedness.

The workshop comprised seven sessions, including two dedicated to risk analysis simulations (one for disease X and one specific to India).

The culmination of the two-day workshop saw intensive discussions on the path forward, highlighting the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration and the adoption of a One Health approach to ensure a safer and more sustainable future for wildlife, ecosystems, and human and domestic animal health.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for countries and regions to enhance their preparedness to mitigate the impacts of future pandemics.

WOAH is actively collaborating with partners in the Quadripartite, including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to address these critical issues.

In a world where the health of wildlife, domestic animals, and humans is interconnected; the “One Health” approach of collaboration and coordination remains essential for a sustainable future.

WOAH and the Government of India’s joint efforts in this workshop exemplify the commitment to building a safer, healthier, and more sustainable world.

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