ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Time Is Ripe for a One Health Law in India

The One Health framework that espouses an integrated approach for protecting the health of humans, animals and the environment is the need of the hour. The legally binding International Health Regulations (2005) is an existing powerful legislation that can bridge the gap between and among sectors for the realisation of the One Health approach in India.

The author thanks two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that improved this article.

The decade and a half old conceptual framework of One Health has now caught everybody’s attention in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Essentially, its tenet professes that the health of humans, animals and the environment is intricately connected with each other and the challenges that come with protecting one aspect of this triad cannot be viewed in the disciplinary silos.

Though One Health seems intuitive because of the “everything is connected” platitude, the concept itself is more evidentially grounded. Consider the example of the Rift Valley Fever (RVF). It is a mosquito-borne viral disease that affects much of Africa and some parts of the Arabian peninsula. The disease severely affects livestock resulting in illness and mass abortions in their populations as well as causes mild to severe illness in humans. The natural cycle of transmission also involves other wild mammals. Apart from the consequences on human and animal health, there are significant social and economic impacts. Moreover, during periods of heavy rainfall and flooding, the mosquito populations explode and spread across a much wider geographic area. Changes in the local landscape affects the ecology of the disease. For example, the construction of the Senegal River Project led to the downstream flooding of the area leading to a major RVF outbreak in humans and animals in the region.

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Updated On : 2nd Jan, 2023
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