Zoonotic diseases—iillnesses transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa—are evolving in response to environmental degradation, agricultural intensification, deforestation, human settlement, and climate change. These diseases damage economies, health, and livelihoods, and they disproportionately affect resource-poor communities in tropical countries. One Health Trust is participating in an interdisciplinary project to help India reduce zoonotic diseases’ harms to health, welfare, and livelihoods by better understanding current approaches, using existing surveillance data to inform policy, and identifying the socioecological drivers of disease transmission.
To promote effective management of zoonotic diseases in India, researchers are conducting a One Health study with five components:
- Mapping stakeholders in each sector, their priorities, and their need for decision-support tools.
- Identifying available surveillance data, knowledge, and skills and determining how better surveillance could further the understanding and management of zoonotic diseases.
- Studying socioecological drivers that could affect disease transmission and effects.
- Interpreting geographical patterns in disease spread to determine the relevant social, climatic, and landscape factors—information necessary for designing case studies and predicting outcomes of interventions.
- Building foundations in research, data analysis, and cross-sectoral collaboration to bolster future One Health approaches in India.
Having found that existing networks, interpersonal relationships, strong leadership, trust and accountability, knowledge, and policy frameworks are important facilitators of cross-sectoral action, the project has begun identifying ways to improve collaboration to address zoonotic diseases in India. Mediators may be needed between hierarchical structures.
- UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
- ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, India
- ICAR-National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (NIVEDI), India
- ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre, India
Funded by the Department of International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), and Wellcome under the Health Systems Research Initiative [Grant Nos. MR/S012893/1 & MR/S012893/2].
- Asaaga, F.A., Young, J.C., Oommen, M.A. et al. Operationalising the “One Health” approach in India: facilitators of and barriers to effective cross-sector convergence for zoonoses prevention and control. BMC Public Health 21, 1517 (2021). Available here.