Govt Scheme to Look into Zoonotic Diseases
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18 May 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Rs 200–Crore Grant To Help Curb Afflictions Spreading From Animals To Humans On Cards
Diseases that spread from animals to humans, called zoonotic diseases, are under focus as around 5,000 veterinary dispensaries in the state are set to undergo significant makeover under the Rashtriya Krushi Vikas Yojna (RKVY).
A sum of Rs 200 crore has been proposed by the state animal husbandry department to upgrade and strengthen medical facilities to provide better health care to animals so that the zoonotic diseases do not enter human chain.
Every year, millions of people fall sick due to diseases transmitted by animals through bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses and other unconventional agents. “Around 60% of known infectious diseases spread from animals to human. After the recent pandemic of influenza A H1N1 virus, the world has awakened to the link between animal diseases and public health. The proposal to upgrade veterinary dispensaries in the state is intended to bring down the burden of zoonotic diseases by providing better health care to livestock,”said D N Zagade, commissioner of state animal husbandry department.
The proposal envisages upgrading and strengthening the existing 4,733 veterinary dispensaries at district, taluka and village levels. Providing blood analyser machinery, surgical equiment and testing kits will help curb animal diseases at the onset thereby preventing transmission to humans, added Zagade. Human population needs a regular diet of protein particularly from milk, eggs or meat. Such a deficiency can also be a public health problem. “The unprecedented movement of commodities and people between one place to another provides opportunities for animal pathogens to spread and multiply,”said Zagade. The livestock population in the state is approximately 3.72 crore that includes cattle, sheep, goats, etc.
It has long been known that 60 per cent of known infectious diseases are common to humans and animals (whether domestic or wild); 75 per cent of recent emerging human diseases came from animals and 80 per cent of pathogens that could potentially be used in bioterrorism are zoonotic (disease communicable from animal to human), states World Veterinary Association.
The Rashtriya Krushi Vikas Yojna earmarked Rs 25,000 crore in the 11th Five Year Plan to give emphasis on growth and development of agriculture and allied sectors like animal husbandry, dairies and fisheries. District polyclinics and mini–polyclinics at taluka level will be upgraded in the first phase, followed by upgradation of grade one and grade two dispensaries. All the upgardation work will require three years, said Zagade.