Conference on World Zoonosis Day discusses animal-to-human transmission of diseases

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There is an increasing need for multi-stakeholder collaboration on One Health

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 July 6 every year. It was organised 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 neighbouring states exchanged their experiences on diseases communicable from animals to humans such as Japanese Encephalitis, Ebola, Zika, CCHF and expressed the need for inter-sectoral partnerships.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Dr NN Mathur, Principal, VMMC and SJ Hospital, said, “Six out of every ten infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals. One Health recognises 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 per cent of all known human infections and 75 per cent 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, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “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.”

“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