December 19 to 21, Paro: The concept of “One Health” is gaining momentum and is a high priority at the global, regional and national levels. To this effect Bhutan has already started operationalising the “One Health Concept” with the endorsement of Bhutan One Health Strategy Plan by the Government. The Concept is critical because the health of humans and animals is interlinked and majority of emerging, re-emerging, and endemic human diseases have their origins at the human-animal-ecosystem interface. More than 60% known human pathogens originate from animals and about 75% emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic (disease transmitted from animals to humans) in nature. Therefore, there is a shared responsibility and synergic potential for collaboration between public health, animal health and the environment sectors in the efforts to combat emerging and re-emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases.
The Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health have jointly organised the 4th National One Health Conference with a theme “Enhancing national health security through One Health Approach” with financial support from WHO.
Besides, presentations from the one health stakeholders, the conference also embarked upon a “World Café” style working session which enabled to discuss on critical topics related to one health and to obtain valuable feedback from the participants. The conference aspires to further strengthen collaboration amongst the stakeholders to facilitate the effective coordination during the outbreak response, surveillance, information sharing and risk mitigation actions to the emerging and re-emerging infectious and zoonotic threats and to develop a clear action plan for implementation of one health related activities by the stakeholders in the 12th FYP.
A total of 63 officials including from livestock, BAFRA, forests, public health, medical services, RUB, disaster and NEC participated in the workshop. It was also attended by the Director Generals and Directors from the livestock, medical services and public health and technical experts and field officials.
Submitted by Dr. Karma Rinzin, Department of Livestock and Rinzin Kinga Jamtsho, Department of Public Health
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