Combating India’s Infectious Disease Threats

Combating India’s Infectious Disease Threats
Combating India’s Infectious Disease Threats

Over recent decades, multiple epidemic events have underscored how highly vulnerable we are to viral threats.  Our world is globally connected—and an "emerging threat" in one part of the world can pose a threat everywhere and to everyone.

The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) was launched in February 2014 and is a growing partnership of over 50 nations, international organizations, and non-governmental stakeholders to help build countries’ capacity to create a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats and to elevate global health security as a national and global priority.  GHSA pursues a multilateral and multi-sectoral approach to strengthen both the global capacity and nations’ capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to human and animal infectious diseases threats, whether naturally occurring or accidentally or deliberately spread.

USAID/India Programs

USAID collaborates with partners in India to stop disease outbreaks by closing gaps in early detection of threats.  Through a strategic response focused on the connections between animal and human health, USAID is strengthening India’s capacity to prevent and reduce outbreaks, detect threats early to save lives and respond with a rapid, coordinated effort.  USAID also partners with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight anti-microbial resistance and to promote the One Health platform in India to strenghthen and operationalize the intersectoral collaboration between human health, animal health and the food sector.

Detecting Emerging Pandemic Threats

The USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT program aims to strengthen global capacity for detection and discovery of zoonotic viruses with pandemic potential.  PREDICT uses a One Health approach to conduct targeted surveillance in key wildlife and livestock species, as well as people who have contact with these animals.  In collaboration with GHSA and state and national partners, including reference laboratories, PREDICT works to characterize the diversity of unknown viruses in nature and enhance India’s ability to detect and respond to new and emerging viral zoonoses.  

In India, PREDICT has facilitated laboratory development and training and conducted field site surveys to identify priority high-risk interfaces in border regions.  PREDICT also regularly engages with stakeholders in the Government of India, including the Ministries of Agriculture; Forest, Environment and Climate Change; and Health and Family Welfare.  USAID is focusing its efforts on establishing a field team and conducting training with local partners and beginning targeted and concurrent sampling of priority taxa at field sites.  These activities will be implemented in partnership with local wildlife, livestock, and human health authorities.

Mitigating the Threat of Anti-Microbial Resistance

USAID supports the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in implementing the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).  FAO is currently engaging with the Government of India to help strengthen capacity in the livestock and fisheries sector to address issues related to AMR and emerging infectious diseases.  Additionally, USAID’s support aims to build national and state- level capacity for surveillance and monitoring of AMR and to strengthen governance related to AMR in food and agriculture.

USAID promotes inter-sectoral collaboration for a comprehensive response to the growing problem of AMR in India.  USAID supported the Government of India to develop a National Action Plan (NAP) on AMR with reference to livestock and aquaculture.  India’s NAP is now ready and has been endorsed by a high-level inter-sectoral coordination committee.  USAID will support the NAP by facilitating joint trainings to improve AMR diagnostics and national and regional workshops on developing state-level action plans to combat AMR in animals.

USAID is also partnering with the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen and harmonize AMR surveillance in human health, strengthen national laboratory capacity, and support an agreement to facilitate AMR data collection and analysis.

Strengthening the One Health Collaboration in India

USAID/India supports the World Health Organization (WHO) to work closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to promote multi-sectoral responses to food safety hazards, risks from zoonoses and other emerging threats at the human-animal-ecosystem interface and to provide guidance on how to reduce these risks.  The FAO-OIE-WHO Tripartite is effectively operational at the global and to some extent the Regional level using One Health, which aims to address health threats at the interface between humans, animals, food and the environment and to reduce health risks through a collaborative, intersectoral, multidisciplinary approach.

Last updated: November 28, 2017

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