ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Whither One Health in India?

The COVID-19 pandemic has sharply brought into focus how intrusions into natural landscapes are not just environmental concerns, but are also intricately entangled with public health. Little attention has been paid to systemic causes such as large-scale biodiversity loss that underlie the emergence and re-emergence of these diseases. Institutional networks of public and animal health in India that are involved in the surveillance and control of zoonoses are outlined herein. It is shown that the lack of a systematic framework that explicitly involves institutions that manage biodiversity and wildlife health leads to gaps in operationalising a One Health framework in India. Addressing these lacunae requires a supra-ministerial mechanism that brings together public health, ecology, and veterinary and social sciences to combat the threats posed by existing and emerging zoonoses.

Bat Hunts and Disease Outbreaks

Natural hosts of some of the most deadly emerging viruses such as Ebola, bats are harvested in an annual ritual by a Naga Tribe in Nagaland. This practice, endangering both public health and biodiversity, can lead to the emergence of novel infectious diseases. A concerted and multipronged effort will have to made by governments, especially in developing countries, where the contact between wildlife and humans is more intense, to prevent, contain and respond to the emerging zoonotic diseases.
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