The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need of creating vigilance and awareness on zoonotic diseases, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday said.
He made the remarks while virtually inaugurating the Whole Genome Sequencing National Reference Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and BSL 3 Laboratory on the 112th Annual Day of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Congratulating NCDC for its contributions, Mandaviya said that India has performed better than many other countries in fighting the pandemic, a Health ministry statement stated.
He said new dimensions have been added today in the legacy of 112 years of achievements of NCDC and encouraged it to strive for further innovations so that not only India but the whole world can benefit from its work.
Scientists, doctors, officers and staff of NCDC should collectively chart out goals they want to achieve in the coming years, he said.
"The recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need of creating vigilance and awareness on zoonotic diseases," he said, adding that division of Zoonotic Disease Programme at NCDC under the "National One health Programme for prevention and Control of Zoonoses" has created IEC materials on seven priority zoonotic diseases namely Rabies, Scrub Typhus, Brucellosis, Anthrax, CCHF, Nipah and Kyasanur Forest Disease in India.
Zonotic diseases pass from animal or insect to humans.
The minister also launched the National Health Adaptation Plan on Air Pollution and National Health Adaptation Plan on Heat along with infographics and the first newsletter under the "National Programme on Climate Change and Human Health" developed by Centre of Environmental and Occupational Health, Climate Change and Health at NCDC.
Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said NCDC provides a gamut of services to the people through its laboratories, and strengths in epidemiology, public health capacity building, entomology, etc, the statement said.
NCDC's role in steering the AMR containment programme in the country is commendable.
"NCDC can act as a focal point with greater authority and resources for disease surveillance, monitoring of health status, educating the public, providing evidence for public health action and enforcing public health regulations," Mr Pawar said.
She also stressed the importance of public awareness and people's participation in keeping lifestyle diseases at bay.
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