New Delhi: The Centre has launched a ‘One Health’ project under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) that envisages carrying out surveillance of important bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections of zoonotic as well as transboundary pathogens in the country.
“Use of existing diagnostic tests and the development of additional methodologies when required are mandated for the surveillance and for understanding the spread of emerging diseases.
“Covid-19 pandemic showed the relevance of ‘One Health’ principles in the governance of infectious diseases, especially efforts to prevent and contain zoonotic diseases throughout the world,” a release from the Ministry of Science and Technology said on Thursday.
Explaining the reason behind launching the mega consortium on ‘One Health,’ the DBT said, the risk of infectious agents capable of jumping the barriers of species is increasing, mainly because of the potential of novel infectious agents to spread rapidly around the globe due to increased travel, food habits and trade across borders.
“Such diseases have devastating impacts on animals, humans, health systems, and economies, requiring years of social and economic recovery,” the release said.
This Consortium, consisting of 27 organisations, led by DBT-National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad, is one of the biggest ‘One Health’ programmes launched by the government in post-Covid times. The Consortium comprises AIIMS, Delhi; AIIMS, Jodhpur; IVRI, Bareilly and multiple other scientific bodies from across India.
Secretary, DBT, Renu Swarup, while launching the ‘One Health’ project on Wednesday, emphasized the need of a holistic approach to understand the health of human, animals, and wildlife to minimise the damage caused by future pandemics, the release added.