“The concept of “One Health” must be reinforced across sectors”
New Delhi, March 14, 2019:
A new report by the UN has called for urgent action to save humanity from the disastrous consequences of environmental degradation. It has warned that cities and regions in Asia, middle-east, and Africa could see millions of premature deaths by mid-century if the nations fail to drastically scale up environmental protection measures. Further, the report added that water pollution alone will become the number one cause of death in the world by 2050.
The report also noted that fresh water system will see anti-microbial resistance due to pollutants. This will not only cause human deaths but also disrupt the endocrine system, impacting male and female fertility, as well as child neuro-development. Continuing on the current track will only lead to a bleak future for humankind.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “It has been scientifically proven that about 75% of emerging human infectious diseases in the past three decades have originated in animals and due to poor environmental health brought on by contamination, pollution, and degradation of air, water, and land etc. Such disturbances that foment cross-species infectious disease transmission, as well as non-infectious diseases spread across entire populations of humans and animals. It is time that human health professionals, animal health care professionals, environmentalists, and agriculture professionals to work collaboratively and develop solutions to various problems which are increasing with each passing year.”
In most nations, inter-sectoral coordination has been established by the concerned governments, to consult with each other, share their knowledge, and provide effective and efficient means to control emergence of such diseases as per protocols set by the World Health Organization under their one health programme.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “One health is a concept that incorporates human, animal, plant, and environmental health (air, water, earth) under one roof. It recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals, plants and the environment.”
Some tips from HCFI
- Use public mode of transportation: Encourage people to use more and more public modes of transportation to reduce pollution. Make way for carpooling.
- Conserve energy: Switch off fans and lights when you are going out. Large amount of fossil fuels is burnt to produce electricity.
- Understand the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: Do not throw away items that are of no use to you. Reuse them for some other purpose. For e.g. you can use old jars to store cereals or pulses.
- Emphasize on clean energy resources: Clean energy technologies like solar, wind and geothermal are on high these days. Governments of various countries have been providing grants to consumers who are interested in installing solar panels for their home. This will go a long way to curb air pollution.
- Use energy efficient devices: CFL lights consume less electricity as against their counterparts. They live longer, consume less electricity, lower electricity bills and help you to reduce pollution by consuming less energy.
- Avoid throwing plastic and waste into water bodies. They penetrate the food web and cause harm to humans and animals alike.