United Nation (UN) bodies viz, the World Health Organization(WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) formed a team of experts under ‘One Health High-Level Expert Panel’ to help develop a global plan of action to prevent the spread of diseases from animals to humans.
- WHO stated animals(wildlife) as the originating source of three-quarters of all emerging infectious diseases in the world.
‘The One Health High-Level Expert Panel’ initiative was launched by Germany and France in 2020 in the backdrop of the outbreak of COVID-19. The first meeting of the panel was held in May 2021. The panel will publish its first recommendations later in 2021.
Purpose of the Expert team:
i.The One Health – team of experts put together by the WHO, UNEP, OIE, and FAO will advise them on developing risk assessment and surveillance frameworks and establish good practices to prevent and prepare for Zoonotic outbreaks of diseases like Zika, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Ebola, COVID-19, etc.
ii.The panel will also consider potential transmission risks in food production and distribution, urbanisation and the construction of infrastructure, international travel and trade, and activities that lead to biodiversity loss and climate change.
What are Zoonotic diseases?
They are also known as zoonoses, are infectious diseases that transmit from animals to humans. The zoonotic carriers may be viral, bacterial, or parasitic, spreading through direct contact or food, air, water, etc.
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About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Director-General– Qu Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy
About World Health Organization (WHO)
Director-General – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland