Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

India’s One Health Approach to Tackle Future Pandemics


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Global Health Security Index, PM ABHIM and related schemes and facts

Mains level: India's One health approach

One Health

Central Idea

  • The Covid-19 pandemic exposed weaknesses in the world’s health systems, including countries ranked high in the Global Health Security Index. It has also provided an opportunity to build stronger health systems to prevent and respond to future pandemics. India’s One Health approach aims to address the health of people, animals, and ecosystems together in order to prevent, prepare, and respond to pandemics.

One Health

What is PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM ABHIM)? 

  • PM ABHIM is being rolled out as India’s largest scheme to scale up health infrastructure.
  • It is aimed at ensuring a robust public health infrastructure in both urban and rural areas, capable of responding to public health emergencies or disease outbreaks.
  • Key features:
  • Health and Wellness Centres: In a bid to increase accessibility it will provide support to 17,788 rural HWC in 10 ‘high focus’ states and establish 11,024 urban HWC across the country.
  • Exclusive Critical Care Hospital Blocks: It will ensure access to critical care services in all districts of the country with over five lakh population through ‘Exclusive Critical Care Hospital Blocks’.
  • Integrated public health labs: It will also be set up in all districts, giving people access to “a full range of diagnostic services” through a network of laboratories across the country.
  • Disease surveillance system: The mission also aims to establish an IT-enabled disease surveillance system through a network of surveillance laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels.
  • Integrated Health Information Portal: All the public health labs will be connected through this Portal, which will be expanded to all states and UTs, the PMO said.

Facts for prelims

What is Global Health Security Index?

  • The Global Health Security Index is a tool developed to assess a country’s preparedness and ability to respond to outbreaks, pandemics, and other public health emergencies.
  • It was developed by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • The Index ranks 195 countries based on their level of preparedness across six categories: 1. Prevention, 2. Detection and reporting, 3. Rapid response, 4. Health system, 5. Compliance with international norms, and 6. Risk environment.
  • The Index aims to identify gaps in preparedness and encourage countries to take action to strengthen their health security systems, particularly in the face of global health threats such as pandemics.
  • The first edition of the Index was published in 2019, and it has since been updated to reflect the evolving global health landscape.
  • Global Health Security Index 2021: India ranked 66th.

One Health

What is mean by One health?

  • One Health is an interdisciplinary approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health.
  • It emphasizes the need for collaboration between various sectors, including public health, veterinary medicine, environmental science, and others, to achieve optimal health outcomes for all.

key components of India’s One Health approach

  • Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM): The flagship program launched in October 2021 aims to prevent, prepare, and respond to pandemics. It seeks to fill the gaps in health systems at the national and state levels.
  • National Institute for One Health: The foundation for the institute was laid recently in Nagpur. It will identify hotspots for endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases to contain their spread early on.
  • Creation of a network of institutions for genomic surveillance: During the COVID-19 pandemic, India created a formidable network of institutions that can identify new pathogens. This can now be complemented with wider testing of wastewater and samples from incoming ships and aircraft.
  • Coordination between ministries: Several ministries, including health, animal husbandry, forests, and biotechnology, have been brought under the Principal Scientific Advisor to address overlapping mandates and improve coordination.
  • Expansion of research laboratories: India is expanding its network of research laboratories, which primarily focused on influenza, to cover all respiratory viruses of unknown origin.
  • Partnerships between research bodies and manufacturers: Indian manufacturers produced vaccines, test kits, therapeutics, masks and other items at very competitive prices, both for India and other countries. The partnerships between research bodies and manufacturers will need to be sustained and enhanced to make India a global hub in the biopharma sector.
  • Clinical trial network: The clinical trial network set up under the National Biopharma Mission is a positive step toward improving access to affordable new vaccines and drugs in India and around the world.
  • Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission: The mission can facilitate the bringing of private hospitals and clinics under a common platform and placing data in the public domain to augment surveillance in vulnerable areas.
  • Municipal corporations mandated to provide early alerts: Municipal corporations have been mandated to identify the most vulnerable areas and provide early alerts. For this to be successful, strong partnerships with communities, dairy cooperatives, and the poultry industry will be needed to identify new infections.

What are the potential advantages of the One Health approach?

  • Holistic approach: The One Health approach looks at the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. By taking a holistic approach, it enables a better understanding of the complex interconnections between human, animal, and environmental health, and can lead to more effective interventions and solutions
  • Early disease detection: The One Health approach emphasizes the importance of early disease detection in animals, which can serve as an early warning system for potential human outbreaks. This approach can help prevent the spread of diseases and reduce the risk of pandemics.
  • Better disease surveillance: The One Health approach facilitates better disease surveillance by enabling the sharing of information and resources between different sectors, including human health, animal health, and environmental health.
  • More effective responses: The One Health approach can lead to more effective responses to outbreaks by facilitating collaboration between different sectors and stakeholders, and ensuring a coordinated response.
  • Improved animal health: The One Health approach recognizes the importance of animal health and welfare, and can lead to improved animal health through better disease control and prevention measures.
  • Better environmental management: The One Health approach also recognizes the importance of environmental management and conservation, and can lead to more sustainable environmental practices that benefit both human and animal health.

One Health


  • India’s One Health approach is a positive step towards addressing the health of people, animals, and ecosystems together. The country’s efforts to tackle future pandemics are commendable, and the success of these efforts will be critical. The rise of new pathogens, zoonotic diseases, and antibiotic resistance highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to prevent future pandemics. India’s efforts to build stronger health systems, prevent pandemics, and respond to outbreaks will help protect its citizens and set an example for the world.

Mains Question

Q. What do you understand by mean One Health? Discuss the advantages of One health approach the efforts of India in this direction.

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