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Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy

IndiaZooSystems – Strengthening One Health Responses to Zoonotic Diseases

IndiaZooSystems – Strengthening One Health Responses to Zoonotic Diseases

CDDEP is participating in an interdisciplinary One Health project that seeks to facilitate India’s efforts to reduce zoonotic disease impact on health, welfare, and livelihoods by better understanding the current mitigation framework, using existing surveillance data to inform policy, and identifying socio-ecological drivers that could affect disease transmission and impact. 

Zoonotic diseases, which make up over 60% of emerging infectious disease events, are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and humans. They are evolving in response to multiple factors, including environmental degradation, agricultural intensification, deforestation, human settlement, and climate change. These diseases are detrimental to economies, health, and livelihoods, and they disproportionately impact resource-poor communities in tropical countries. 

CDDEP and its partners (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, India; ICAR-National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (NIVEDI), India; and ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre, India) are conducting research to understand and promote the effective management of zoonotic diseases in India. 

This research involves: 

1) Mapping key stakeholders in each sector, their priorities, and their needs for decision-support tools. 

2) Identifying existing surveillance data, knowledge, and skills and making recommendations on how they could be utilized across sectors to further the understanding and management of zoonotic diseases. 

(3) Studying the full extent of potential socio-ecological drivers that could affect disease impact and transmission. 

(4) Interpreting geographical patterns in disease spread in relation to environmental data. This analysis is used to extricate social, climate, and landscape factors accelerating disease impact for case-study diseases and settings and subsequently predicting outcomes of intervention. 

(5) Building foundations in research, data analysis, and cross-sectoral collaboration to bolster future One Health approach in India. 

Thus far, the project has produced important results, identifying barriers to achieving multi-sectoral convergence in the battle against zoonotic diseases in India. Researchers found that outside of establishing favorable policy frameworks, accomplishing multi-sectoral convergence is complex and multi-layered, necessitating mediators in diverse positions in-between and at the intersection of hierarchical structures. Existing networks and interpersonal relationships, strong leadership, trust and accountability, knowledge, and policy frameworks are important facilitators for and/ or barriers to cross-sectoral action. 

This work is supported 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]. 

Publication:  

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). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11545-7  

Image from UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.