ISLAMABAD  - PARC in collaboration with National Institute of Health (NIH) and other national and international partners have organised a day-long "National One Health Symposium" at National Agricultural Research Centre. The event was organised to compliment the activities of Regional Epidemiology and Biosecurity Training Programme in South Asia being implemented in Pakistan through the financial and technical assistance from World Bank and Massey University New Zealand.

The aim of this symposium was to share outcomes of the existing project, understand global OHHP for future collaborative investigations between Animal and Public Health institutes in the area of zoonoses within the country as well as in the SAARC region. Chairman PARC Dr Iftikhar Ahmad on the occasion appreciated the role of Massey University, FAO, World Bank and other national and international partners to reduce the burden of animal diseases in Pakistan.

He stressed the policy makers and scientists to think and take necessary steps for integrated efforts to control transmission of diseases from animal to human.

He said in northern areas and other parts of the country people and animal are connecting with each other. The precious species of animals play an important role in changing the life of the communities. He highlighted the mismanagement issues and given an example of the effect of use of pesticides in crops on human health. He said proper measures and training should be given to the communities to save their precious animal species from killing.

On this occasion, Dr Eric Neumann, One Health Programme Director, Massey University, New Zealand given a detailed presentation and highlighted broaden objectives of the programme. He said bacteria, transmitted to human through contact with birthing fluids and milk from infected cattle, sheep and goat. Infected animals are the only source of infection. He also appraised about the Hubnet one health network. Dr Azeem Khan, Director General, NARC in this welcome address said that this symposium will provide a good forum to the participants.

 from public health and animal health sectors to devise appropriate strategies for working together for the control of major diseases of our times such as TB, Rabies, Bird Flue, Congo fever and many others in the country.

Dr Khalid Naeem, Project Coordinator (One Health Pakistan) and Deputy Director General (NARC) said the concept of One Health was basically coined during the early days of bird flue,

when it was realised that most of the emerging human diseases transmitted from animals can be better understood if they are investigated under the joint umbrella of human-animal-environment, later labeled as One Health. This was eventually taken forward in 2011 by the international agencies WHO-FAO-OIE. Under this category to date 124 diseases have been labeled as zoonotic diseases, for which special disease control measures need to be developed wherein joint efforts of public health, animal health and environment departments would be required.