July 6 is well known as World Zoonoses Day.
With the COVID-19 pandemic nonetheless raging, there’s a renewed concentrate on methods to counter animal-transmitted ailments.
“One of the reasons for the spread of zoonotic diseases is the destruction of animal habitat and their displacement. The Nipah outbreak was the result of disturbing the habitat of bats so that they invaded the human space,” says Dr PK Sasidharan, retired Professor and Head of Medicine, Government Medical College, Kozhikode. He has spent three many years of working with infectious ailments, finding out their causes, and remedy.
The many causes
Dr. Neethu Susan Philip, microbiologist and Infection Control Officer, says that one in every of the challenges with COVID-19 is that we have now not but traced the origin of the virus accurately, although we all know it began from a meat market in Wuhan.
To counter infections like COVID-19, a motion that stresses the need for a balanced, environmentally-friendly diet has begun throughout the world.
“From Ebola to COVID-19, there is a connect between consumption of meat and disease. The animal-man connect is clear,” say Parag Agarwal and Sethu Vaidyanathan, co-founders of Ahimsa Trust that runs the Plants Are Power marketing campaign. It advocates the advantage of plant-based dwelling for human, animal and environmental well being.
They cite information from the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exhibiting that 75% of recent and rising ailments are from animals.
An alarming issue
Dr Susan John, Clinical Epidemiologist, Rajagiri Hospital, Kochi, additionally talks about the transmission of disease-producing organisms from animal to man. “In the WHO’s list of top 10 diseases, the majority are zoonotic. This is a major concern,” says Susan.
The causes for this animal-man transmission, she says, are attributable to deforestation, elevated consumption of uncooked meats and mushrooming of city settlements the place individuals dwell in shut proximity with home animals. In addition to those elements, “increased air travel leads to its spread,” she says.
In a 2019 analysis in the Department of Family Medicine at Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Sasidharan says that 98.5% individuals weren’t certain of what outlined a balanced diet. “Humans are the only animals who do not know what to eat,” he says.
He has conceptualised the Social Health One Health Movement (SHOHM), primarily based on the concept that human beings can’t be wholesome until the atmosphere they dwell in (together with vegetation and animal life) is wholesome.
Launched throughout the lockdown, this motion goals at creating consciousness on the atmosphere. Started by a crew of attorneys, doctors, architects and natural farming consultants, it’s led by Sasidharan.
The idea envisages a well being pyramid through which each particular person at the base has entry to a balanced diet, protected consuming water, shelter with minimal consolation and good main training.
The second element is a giant physique of household doctors. “Eighty per cent of doctors should work as family doctors. Every family should have a friend-philosopher-guide doctor who will be responsible for providing continuous and comprehensive care, irrespective of age and gender and working for promoting health and wellness,” says Sasidharan, including that the third element is normal hospitals. “Specialist doctors and hospitals should be less than 20%.”
Advocate MR Rajendran, President of SHOHM Trust, has undertaken the distribution of balanced diet kits to households in Ernakulam. “The kits consist of rice, legumes, leafy vegetables and fruits. We have identified children in 10-12 BPL families. Our objectives are to create awareness on the principle of one health of humans, plants, trees, animals and the environment,” says Rajendran.
An endorsement for their work lately got here from Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who after assembly them, declared at a press convention the need for individuals to devour a diet that builds immunity towards illness.