Govt implements health strategy to control zoonosis

Kathmandu, January 29

The government has implemented One Health Strategy-2019 to prevent and control zoonotic diseases seen among livestock.

The strategy envisages concerted efforts from agencies related to the public, animals, plants and environmental health services against emerging, re-emerging, epidemic and zoonotic diseases.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, the strategy was necessary to fulfil the national commitment of implementing the trilateral agreement of the World Organisation for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation on adoption of ‘One Health Approach’.

The objectives of the strategy includes establishment of multilateral stakeholders for mutual coordination and collaboration, timely identification of epidemic, strengthening information system, enhancing capacity of stakeholders in preparedness and response, and carrying out advocacy for the prevention and control of zoonotic diseases.

It stipulates the provision of an 11-member steering committee headed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development at the federal level to determine policy and provide direction to the agencies concerned.

The committee includes secretaries and joint secretaries from all ministries except the Ministry of Land Management,Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, and Ministry of Urban Development as members.

As per the strategy, there will also be a 12-member technical committee led by director general of the Department of Livestock Services at the federal level for the implementation of provisions related to prevention and control of various animal diseases on the basis of contingency plan.

“The provinces and local levels may form a high-powered coordination committees comprising multilateral stakeholders to meet the objectives of the strategy,” it says. The authorities concerned will adopt risk-based oversight plan while implementing the strategy. It requires the authorities to take immediate control measures and prevent any animal disease from spreading to other areas if such a disease is detected in one particular place.

According to the strategy, the authorities will also work for capacity development of the community by providing technical support in carrying out virus isolation and molecular sequencing consistent with international standards.