National Institute of One Health (NIOH), dedicated for inter-disciplinary research and study of diseases humans get from animals, is all set to get final nod soon. Rajya Sabha MP Dr Vikas Mahatme said he would follow up the issue of funds for this institute with the Center while all other administrative obstacles have been cleared. “Many diseases are transmitted from animals to humans and they need collective and inter-disciplinary actions. For this, NIOH will come to Nagpur for sure,” he said. The institute is proposed to be set up on land belonging to Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU) in Nagpur. Its setting up is pending for more than ten years now. Mahatme was speaking at inaugural session of the two-day workshop on ‘Challenges and Opportunities for tackling Veterinary Public Health Issues at Human, Animal and Environment Interface’ at Nagpur Veterinary College. Dr MD Gupte, founder director of National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, delivered a keynote speech on ‘One Health — Opportunities and challenges’ to begin the two-day event.
“One Health has become a major post-Ebola priority for the world. In India, it has been pending for years. With all academic and political efforts, we are confident that the institute will become a reality in Nagpur soon,” he said. Dr SB Barbuddhe, principal scientist of veterinary public health, stated that Nagpur had the most critical locational benefit. “We have Melghat, Chhattisgarh and tribal dominated parts of Odisha in our vicinity where cases of zoonotic diseases are more,” he said. He recalled that many patients of scrub typhus were successfully saved in Nagpur last year after MAFSU intervened and conducted tests of the patients admitted to government hospitals in city. The 16th Annual Symposium of Indian Association of Veterinary Public Health Specialists is also underway at the venue where veterinary public health specialists are discussing issues related to inter-disciplinary research. Total seven sessions on veterinary public health, environmental health management, zoonoses and public health and food safety and security subjects are planned on Tuesday and Wednesday. – TOI