Speakers emphasize collaboration, sufficient budget allocation to safeguard lives and the environment.
Speakers at a programme underscored the need for conserving the environment as well as protecting the health of domestic and wild animals in order to safeguard human health.
Effective collaboration among various programmes involving health and the environment along with assurance of adequate budget is crucial to this end, they said.
They were speaking at the programme on Sunday marking “One Health Program in Bangladesh and One Health Day 2023”.
One Health Secretariat, Bangladesh at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) organised the event at the headquarters of the Forest Department in Dhaka.
Prof Nitish Chandra Debnath, national coordinator, One Health Bangladesh, presented a keynote paper at the event.
He highlighted how expansion of human population into newer geographic areas has forced more people to live in close contact with wild and domestic animals.
“Animals play an important role in our lives, whether for food, fiber, livelihoods, travel, sport, education, or companionship. But close contact with animals poses more risks of diseases being transmitted to humans,” he said.
He stated that seven out of every 10 diseases that affect humans are from animals, which are called zoonotic diseases.
“The movement of people, animals, and animal products has increased due to international travel and trade. This has resulted in the spread of diseases quickly across borders and around the globe. Every year, millions of people and animals around the world are affected by zoonotic diseases,” he said.
“Unless, we lay stress on ‘one health’ approach to work together, we would not be able to face the future challenges,” he added.
Speaking as the chief guest, Md Jahangir Alam, Secretary of the Health Services Division at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, “All the stakeholders have come together to promote one health movement.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Bardan Jung Rana, WHO representative to Bangladesh, reiterated the World Health Organisation’s call to world leaders to increase political commitment and action to invest in the “one health” approach to prevent and tackle common threats affecting the health and well-being of humans, animals, plants and environment together.
Dr Farhina Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, presided at the event which was also attended by different government high-ups.
Md Amir Hosain Chowdhury, Chief Conservator of Forests, Kbd Badal Chandra Biswas, Director General of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Dr Abdul Hamid, Director General of the Department of Environment, KH Mahbubul Haque, Director General of the Department of Fisheries, Dr Md Emdadul Haque Talukder, Director General, Department of Livestock Services and Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammed Khurshid Alam, Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services were present at the event among others.
Besides, Maya Vandenent, Chief of Health at UNICEF Bangladesh, Dr Neely Kaydos-Daniels, Country Director of US CDC, Matt Cannell, Deputy High Commissioner and Development Director at the British High Commission in Dhaka, Amoud Hameleers, IFAD Country Director and FAO Representative participated the event virtually.
Source: The Daily SUN.