New Delhi, April 14, 2023: Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Parshottam Rupala today launched the Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative and World Bank-funded Animal Health System Support for One Health to enhance India’s preparedness and response to potential animal pandemics, in line with the One Health approach. This initiative aims to enhance India’s preparedness and response to animal pandemics, with a focus on zoonotic diseases that pose a threat to both animal and human health. This initiative will help to improve veterinary services and infrastructure, disease surveillance capabilities, early detection, and response, build the capacity of animal health professionals, and awareness among farmers through community outreach.
The event also saw the launch of the World Bank-funded project on “Animal Health System Support for One Health (AHSSOH)” which aims at creating an ecosystem for a better animal health management system using the One Health approach covering five (05) states in India.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Parshottam Rupala, Union Cabinet Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said, “India is home to a diverse animal species, and the livestock sector plays a critical role in the country’s economy and food security. However, we are also vulnerable to threats posed by emerging and zoonotic diseases. The Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative is a proactive step to protect our animal resources and ensure the safety and health of our people. The Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative and the World Bank-funded “Animal Health System Support for One Health” are comprehensive efforts to address animal pandemics in a holistic manner. By strengthening our animal health systems and implementing the One Health approach, we can better prevent and control zoonotic diseases, which not only impact the health and welfare of our animals but also have a significant economic impact and human health concerns.”
Addressing the gathering, Dr L. Murugan, Hon’ble Minister of State of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying said “The launch of the Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative (APPI) and Animal Health System Support for One Health (AHSSOH) project is a step closer to addressing the animal pandemic and preparedness to handle any unknown infections in future. By working together to implement One Health initiatives, we can promote sustainable and healthy fisheries that benefit both people and the environment. Addressing the gathering, Shri Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, stated “In order to move towards preparing the system for meeting any pandemic-like exigency, various actions are to be coordinated including strengthening of the surveillance of disease, creating models for disease forewarning, improving R&D ecosystem and diagnostic capacities, streamlining regulatory ecosystem, providing better responses in the field and mobilizing resources. DAHD has initiated important changes for improving livestock systems and programs in the country. Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative or APPI is one such initiative to cover all aspects of disease prevention, control and pandemic preparedness comprehensively. The key elements include Integrated disease surveillance & monitoring, early warning & response, Vaccine/ diagnostics, R&D and production, and ecosystem coordination with funding and regulatory framework enablers
At the event Bulletin/Publication of One Health Support Unit was released and APPI and AHSSOH Videos were launched. Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Prof (Dr). Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services, MoH & FW, Mr. Oliver Braedt, Head, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank, and Dr. Abhijit Mitra, Animal Husbandry Commissioner, DAHD were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion. The event saw the participation of nearly 200 key stakeholders from different cross sectors including representatives from International Organizations (WHO, WB, FAO, WOAH, UNEP), concerned Ministries, Animal Health experts from Research Institutes of ICAR and ICMR, and other Government stakeholders. The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, (DAHD), Government of India is committed to the successful implementation of the Animal Pandemic Preparedness Initiative and the World Bank-funded Animal Health System Support for One Health and looks forward to working with all stakeholders towards this important goal.