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India and WOAH Partner for Pandemic Preparedness with One Health Approach

A multi-sectoral workshop titled “Risk-based management of spill over events in wildlife in India” was successfully organised by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairy, Ministry of Fisheries Animal Husbandry & Dairy, Government of India, in collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), from September 11–12, 2023, at the Radisson Hyderabad Hitec City, 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 brought attention to the necessity for nations and regions to improve their preparedness to lessen the effects of upcoming pandemics. In order to address these crucial concerns, WOAH actively collaborates with members of the Quadripartite, including the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Health Organisation (WHO), and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The “One Health” strategy of collaboration and coordination is still crucial for a sustainable future in a world where the health of domestic animals, wild animals, and humans is intertwined. The united efforts of WOAH and the Government of India in this workshop demonstrate the dedication to creating a world that is safer, healthier, and more sustainable.

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Source: PIB

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