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‘One Health’ project being launched in Punjab: Yasmin Rashid

August 13, 2021

LAHORE:Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Thursday said that in a changing world One Health vision will have to be adopted, which recognises that the people’s health is closely connected to the health of animals, plants and shared environment.

Speaking as chief guest at an awareness seminar on One Health organised by the Policy and Strategic Planning Unit, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department and USAID, the health minister said One Health has been made an essential component of the Punjab Health Sector Strategy 2019-29.

Present on the occasion were Secretary Primary and Secondary healthcare Department Sarah Aslam, Secretary Health South Punjab Ajmal Bhatti, Fatima Jinnah Medical University Vice-Chancellor Professor Amir Zaman Khan, PHA Chairman Engineer Yasir Gillani, Director PSPU Dr Shagufta Zareen, Professor Javed Chaudhry, Dr Zahida Sarwar, representatives of the World Health Organisation, USAID, Food Department, Environment and faculty members. The ceremony started with recitation and national anthem. Director PSPU Dr Shagufta Zareen highlighted the philosophy and objectives of the theme One Health.

The health minister said, “The One Health Project is being launched in Punjab as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. I greatly appreciate the PSPU team for arranging this seminar with the objective to generate awareness and highlight its significance in an ever-changing world. Evolution of One Health as an integrated theme is an important milestone. We will request Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to constitute a Task Force on the theme of One Health. Health is a great blessing. Prevention is better than cure. Without the support of all stakeholders, the project of One Health cannot be made successful.

Letter to the British government by Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Faisal Sultan to remove Pakistan name from Corona Red List is a great step. Punjab faces a number of Rabies related deaths every year. Rabies vaccine is available in adequate number at DHQ and RHCs. We will have to focus on animal health and environment. The integrated concept of human health, animals and environment has been with us for ages. Punjab also reports a large number of water-borne diseases. Humans are greatly affected by their environment. A large numbers of diseases are linked to environmental pollution.

A number of steps are being taken for dengue control. Industrial pollution is affecting human lives. After the setting up of Task Force by the Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, all institutions will work together. Since we took over, our special focus has been on prevention of disease and we plan to save hundreds of thousands of children from many diseases through preventive interventions. The role of NCOC is pivotal in control of COVID-19 and vaccination of maximum population.”