‘One Health’ is slowly being recognised globally in terms of everything it can accomplish from infectious disease to food safety. Bangladesh is referred to as a ‘One Health’ success.
Dr Nahid Rashid, Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock on Tuesday said this while she was speaking at the 3rd UKRI GCRF One Health Poultry Hub (OHPH) Annual Conference 2022.
The three-day international conference started on Tuesday at Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel in Dhaka and will end on Thursday.
The ‘One Health Poultry Hub’ is a ﬁve-year research and impact-driven programme launched in 2019 and funded by UK Research and Innovation. Comprising experts from around 30 institutions across Asia, Australia, Europe and the UK, it takes a 'One Health' approach to explore how the rapid expansion of poultry production creates conditions for zoonotic disease emergence and spillover.
Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Bangladesh (CVASU), Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) and Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) are working as Bangladesh partners.
Nahid Rashid said terrible diseases are capable of crossing the species barrier and transmitting from animals to humans and vice versa. It is an aim of ‘One Health’ to prevent this and to improve health and wellbeing through the prevention of risks and the effective response to crises that originate at the interface between humans, animals and their various environments.
“One Health activities had started in Bangladesh in 2007, contributing to this global effort by working to attain optimal health for people, domestic animals, wildlife, plants and our environment,” she added.
The Secretary said, “Medicines, drugs or surgical interventions should be the last resort and our dependence on them is too often the result of the failure to provide citizens with the basic amenities they need to live well. For good health we need our environment to be protected and unpolluted; we need quality, nutritious and safe food; we need secure and hygienic homes and comfortable and clean clothing, we need access to physical activities and each other.”
“Over 70% of infectious diseases suffered by humans originate from animals and majority of them at some point of time was harboured in the wild. Every year, five pathogens emerge and even some diseases in decline have clawed back into prominence,” Nahid Rashid continued.
“Our honourable Prime Minister gives highest priority to the health of humans, animals and our ecosystem. We are committed to ensuring health security not only for the people of Bangladesh, but also for the global community of which we are a part,” she said.
Among others, professor Goutam Buddha Das, Vice-Chancellor, Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Bangladesh, Major General Mohammad Yousuf, Director General of the Directorate General of Drug Administration, Bangladesh, Dr S M Jahangir Hossain, Director General of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, Bangladesh, Professor Fiona Tomley, Director, UKRI GCRF One Health Poultry Hub, Matt Cannell, Development Director, British High Commission, Bangladesh, Professor Nitish Chandra Debnath, National coordinator, One Health, Bangladesh, Professor Md Ahasanul Hoque, National Coordinator for Bangladesh of UKRI GCRF One Health Poultry Hub also spoke at the event chaired by Dr Monjur Mohammad Shahjada, Director General, Department of Livestock Services, Bangladesh, Shamsul Arefin Khaled, Director of Nourish.
The conference aims to share the best possible practices and experiences of ongoing research and activities of Hub partner institutions from different countries. Other two aims are -- exploring possible developments and ways to better address poultry-born zoonotic diseases and outbreak investigations, antimicrobial resistance, food safety, behavioural research, and policy interventions through scientific presentations and robust discussion; and Strengthen One Health advocacy and capacity building across the Hub members and strengthen regional network.
Representatives from Hub research institutions and technical partners from India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong (China), Belgium, France, and Bangladesh also attended the event.