One Health is an approach which recognizes that animal health, human health, and environment are inextricably connected.




H1N1 Influenza



of infectious diseases affecting humans originate from animals

Diseases that spread between animals and people are called ‘zoonoses.’ Wild animals naturally carry many of the zoonotic diseases we see in people. These include Rabies, Nipah virus, Anthrax, Brucellosis, Avian & Swine flu, and COVID-19, to name a few. Most of the public health emergencies of international concern during the current millennium had wildlife as their natural reservoirs.

Pathogens shared between animals and humans have serious consequences :

  • Zoonotic diseases account for more than one billion cases and a million deaths per year.
  • At least 55,000 people die of rabies in India, Southeast Asia and Africa annually, and almost, 40% of these preventable deaths (~20,000 per year) are in India.
  • WHO estimates that each year worldwide, unsafe food causes 600 million cases of foodborne diseases and 4,20,000 deaths.
  • SARS, and Avian flu are estimated to have caused global economic loss of $50 billion, and $30 billion, respectively. COVID-19 has already cost the global economy USD trillions.
  • Six major outbreaks of viruses that spread from animals to people between 1997 and 2009 caused economic losses of $80 billion globally. Prevention of these diseases could have saved $7 billion per year.
  • In India, brucellosis causes loss of livestock worth $3.4 billion every year
  • An annual investment, globally, of approximately $22-$31 billion would strengthen animal sector systems enough to prevent pandemics like COVID, saving trillions of dollars.

Resistance to common antibiotics can slide the world into pre-antibiotic era

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, moved to humans from bats, possibly via other animals, causing a pandemic that has led to 223.4 million cases, 4,610,315 deaths (as on September 9, 2021), trillions of dollars in economic losses and unprecedented social disruption.

Preventing diseases from spreading from wildlife to livestock and humans, as well as early detection and control of these diseases in livestock, could prevent human pandemics and mitigate the devastating
consequences of AMR. This requires the adoption of a One Health approach to disease prevention.

  • By 2050, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) or inability of affordable antibiotics to treat infections, may lead a reduction of 7.5% in livestock production, threatening food and nutrition security.
  • By 2050, AMR is also predicted to cause global economic losses of $100 trillion and the death of 10 million people per year, due to infections caused by drug resistant germs
Who are we - One Health Support Unit

Operationalising a One Health approach requires leveraging the cooperation and strengths of diverse sectors – both public and private – including livestock, human health, wildlife, environment, technology and finance to develop solutions to these local, national and global challenges.

The Government of India’s Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying − in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank − has initiated One Health activities which will bring together key stakeholders to plan how to effectively mount a collaborative and coordinated response to these challenges.

With this, the Government of India is affirming its commitment to using a One Health approach to meet interrelated objectives at the national and the state levels, that of (i) improving national capacity to prevent and respond to zoonotic diseases and AMR; and (ii) establishing sustainable joint coordination and collaboration between stakeholders for control of zoonoses and AMR.

The Government of India is committed to focusing its resources on improving the health and security of livestock and people. This will be achieved by building and strengthening India’s One Health systems, including animal and human surveillance, workforce development, improved laboratory infrastructure, outbreak detection, reporting and response, biosecurity in animal production systems and community awareness

One Health Facts

1 B

cases and a million deaths per year are attributed to zoonotic diseases.


people die of rabies in India, Southeast Asia and Africa annually.


deaths each year are caused due to foodborne diseases.

$3.4 B

worth livestock are lost every year due to brucellosis in India.


reduction in livestock by 2050 may be witnessed because of AMR

$100 T

global economic loss is predicted by 2025 due to infections caused by drug resistant germs.