The Cornell Sathguru Foundation for Development inaugural summit on One Health, ended on a high note with academicians from across the world and representatives from the government of India and industry coming together to discuss the ways to achieve the best health for people, animals, and environment.
The two-day summit was opened by Dr Eshwar Reddy, DCGI and Dr SR Rao, DBT in Delhi on May 4, 2018.
The conference brought together some of the best academicians world over and participants from the Government of India and industry to discuss the future of One health and how minor changes in can affect all concerned. The attendees gained a deeper and broader understanding on how inter connected 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.
The participants were drawn from DCGI, CDSCO, FSSAI, FAO, WHO India Office, NCDC, DBT, Wellcome Trust, CDC India Office, DAHD. Cornell University, TANUVAS. University of Hyderabad, National Institute of Nutrition, CFTRI, KVASU, CAR-NIHSAD, GADVASU, BHU, IVRI, AIIMS. Aurobindo, Globion, Bayer, Cipla, Indian Immunological, ITC, Marico, Nagarjuna Agri Chem, Merck, DSM, Intas.
Speaking on the occasion, Pushpa Vijayaraghavan, Director Sathguru Management Consultants, and Summit Chair, said “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 capitalised on, to protect the health of our planet as a whole”.
She added “This is especially critical in the context of developing countries such as India where several looming health issues call for an integrated approach with cross-stakeholder engagement”.
As the first multi-stakeholder One Health Summit in India, this provided a strong foundation for an India centric discussion and conceptualisation of actionable solutions. The summit focused on the following key themes that were identified as critical in the Indian context:
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. 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).
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 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 was 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 hospitalised, 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.