Thiruvananthapuram: With the developed countries all set to have a strong 'one health' policy, ensuring a strong integration in the working between the health practioners and the veterinarians, Kerala too will have a similar policy.
The state is all set to become the first state in the country to have such a policy to curb and combat zoonotic diseases.
The veterinarians' three-day annual conference commencing on Sunday will conceptualise a framework for the implementation of 'One health', said E.K. Easwaran, president of the Indian Veterinary Association.
Explaining what it all means, Easwaran said six in 10 infectious diseases affecting human beings are spread from animals (zoonotic diseases).
"It's therefore very essential that for the better health of human beings, there has to be a perfect coordination between medical doctors and the veterinarians. The medical doctors step in after human beings get affected on account of dog bites.
According to Easwaran, leptospirosis, influenza (avian), monkey fever are the other zoonotic diseases and the role of the veterinarians is to see that through proper public awareness, the health of domesticated animals is taken care of and also on how to deal with non-domesticated animals.
In developed nations, there is a perfect harmony between the professionals from these two sectors and it is guided by the principles of World Health Organization (WHO) and World Organization for Animal Health(OIE), he said.
"We have already given a draft of the 'one health' policy to the state government authorities and at our meeting this would be taken forward as we are going to get more feedbacks. Besides, state Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar and state Animal Husbandry Minister K.P. Mohanan are taking part," said S. Arun, an official of the Indian Veterinary Association.
Of late, the biggest social problem that has affected Kerala is the menace of stray dogs with these stray canines having bitten over a lakh of people in the state this calendar year.
"Like human beings, animals too have a right to life and the biggest problem today is that these stray dogs have multiplied like never before due to inept handling of waste and also because of the way the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programmes are being carried out."
"We have asked the authorities to see that there are around 600 veterinary doctors who are unemployed and to appoint them to see that ABC programmes are carried out quickly and swiftly," said Dileep Chandran, a senior vet.
There are about 4,000 veterinarians in Kerala, of whom around 1,600 work in the government organisations while the rest include those employed in the private sector and thhe retired professionals.