One Health is an integrating idea that brings different sectors together to solve the health, productivity, and conservation challenges and has major implications for India. India with its diverse wildlife, one of the largest livestock populations and high density of human population, carries heightened risks for inter-compartmental spread of diseases. Covid pandemic, recent outbreaks of Lumpy Skin Disease in cattle and the constant threat of Avian Influenza show that it is not just about addressing diseases from human health point of view (zoonosis) but we need to address the livestock and wildlife aspects. This also opens opportunities for leveraging the complementarity and strengths that is inherent in each sector and devise integrated, robust and agile response systems.
There are many One Health efforts underway in various Ministries of the Government of India, in private organizations in addition to a range of activities globally. This presents a prospect to review the areas of focus underlying each effort, identify opportunities for collaboration and work towards filling any remaining gaps. Considering this, The Prime Minister's Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) in its 21st meeting, approved to set up a National One Health Mission with a cross-ministerial effort which will serve to coordinate, support, and integrate all the existing One Health activities in the country and fill gaps where it is appropriate.
These outcomes of the One Health Mission will be supported by critical enabling initiatives. Many of these initiatives are ongoing and will be strengthened under the mission and several new activities that will facilitate the goals of the mission will be undertaken.
Critical enabling activities of the One Health Mission