‘One Health’ to be taken to the people

One Health linking the health of people, animals and the environment is limited to the professionals, experts said adding this has to be taken to the people and they have to be involved in protecting health.

The experts underscored the need for including the One Health issue in the budget.

3 November is ‘One Health Day’. One Health Bangladesh, One Health Secretariat, USAID’s Stops Spillover Project and Prothom Alo organised a roundtable titled ‘One Health Day: Advance Preparation for next any other pandemic’ at Prothom Alo office at Karwan Bazar on Tuesday.

About one health, One Health Bangladesh national coordinator Nitish Chandra Debnath said one health is a joint and coordinated activity. This activity builds up linking people, animal and environment and dependence of each other. The purpose is to build a sustainable health system where steps are taken to build up developed health system by protecting health of animals and environment.

Health directorate additional director general Meerjady Sabrina said one health matter is familiar at the policy level. But steps to involve people are lagging behind, and there is a necessity to work there.

Livestock department director general Monzur Mohammad Shahzada said the outbreaks of different diseases could be tackled if people from all walks of life are engaged. Local leaders have to be utilized to engage the community.

Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) director Tahmina Shirin presented various steps of the government over the one health. She said, “We have to work jointly to exchange information over outbreak of diseases amid coordination among different ministries. She said the government has started working on exchange of information.

DGHS line director (CDC) Md Nazmul Islam said the idea of one health is not new in the country but it has not attracted enough interest among people as yet. It has to be taken to grassroots. Coronavirus has highlighted the importance of One Health. However, work in Bangladesh has started and effort is on to given it an institutional form, he added.

IEDCR Advisor Mushtaq Hussain spoke in favour of exchanging information to coordinate the monitoring of animal, environment and human health.

He said if there is no assistance from development partner organisation, monitoring on health security development stops. If there is no allocation on health security and monitoring in the budget, data will be collected for the necessity of the foreign countries but the country’s goal will not be fulfilled, he added.

Former IEDCR director Mahmudur Rahman said formulation of a strategy on one health in not enough, it must be followed. A system will have to be built so that One Health is included in health activities normally, he added.

USAID global health security specialist Md Abul Kalam said no country can go ahead alone with One Health. Work will have to be carried out on mutual cooperation among countries. Any disease will be detected prior to its prevalence. And for this, increased capacity is necessary, he added.

Former chief conservator of forest Ishtiaq Ahmad, One Health Bangladesh general secretary M Salim Uzzaman, Prothom Alo associate editor Abdul Qayyum also spoke at the roundtable discussion.

One Health Bangladesh national coordinator Nitish Chandra Debnath and Prothom Alo assistant editor Firoz Choudhury moderated the programme was present at the event.

Nadia Ali Rimi, Associate Scientist and Program Coordinator, Programme for Emerging Infections, Infectious Diseases Division, icddr,b and Country Team Lead, Bangladesh STOP Spillover Project were present at the progamme

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