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Indian Immunologicals organises workshop

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The workshop provided insights into the impact of climate change on infectious disease patterns, in human and animal populations and the factors influencing them

Indian Immunologicals recently organised a workshop in Hyderabad on ‘Impact of climate change on emergence of new diseases.’ The workshop was organised to provide insights into the impact of climate change on infectious disease patterns, in human and animal populations and the factors influencing them.

This initiative of Indian Immunologicals was based on the dire need to understand the growing emergence of new diseases which affect humans as well as animals in coming years. The workshop commenced with a welcome address by KV Balasubramaniam, Managing Director, Indian Immunologicals, Hyderabad.  The day-long event was divided into two sessions, the first session had workshops and the second session had a round table. Eminent Indian and international medical and animal health professionals and professors were present at the workshop.

The workshop was attended by about 120 participants representing various organisations from government research institution, medical fraternity, scientists and international experts. The highlight of the day was the Round table session of ‘Veterinary Health’ and ‘Human Health’ where industry veterans in each domain discussed strategies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases related to climate change with emphasis on development of new vaccines and effective diagnosis.

T Nanda Kumar, Chairman, Indian Immunologicals said, “We at Indian Immunologicals, have always focused on understanding the future needs of the animal health industry and initiate actions.  Through this workshop, we have tried to bring all the stakeholders together and deliberate on the repercussions of the climate changes and how we can possibly work towards a common objective of preventing the diseases emerging as a result of these changes. It is believed that the temporal and spatial changes in temperature, precipitation and humidity will affect the biology of pathogens, vectors and consequently the risk of disease transmission and its incidence. Hence, we feel, the outcome of this workshop will help in developing a future road map for research on preventive health products and help our country’s preparedness to combat new diseases.”

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary, Department of Health Research & Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India called for an interdisciplinary approach across various organisations to arrive at a road map, “Due to dietary changes, the nutrition value has gone down. Additionally the treatment is becoming costlier hence, community involvement is necessary to make the desired changes to control the diseases,” Swaminathan said.

Ashok Kumar Angurana, IAS, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India said, “There is an acute shortage of veterinarians in the country. As this issue is inter disciplinary, we also seek support from the state government for allocating more and more resources to address the issue of disease control. He also appreciated Indian Immunologicals’ initiative of bringing together all the relevant stake holders for a dialogue of this issue. The outcome of workshop will help in developing future road map for research and help in country preparedness to combat new diseases.”

The first session was addressed by Prof Andy Morse, Professor of Climate Impacts, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, UK on the projected impact of climate change on infectious diseases of animals. Dr RC Dhiman, Scientist G, National Institute of Malaria Research, Delhi gave a situational analysis of climate change and vector borne diseases. Dr Anthony Wilson, Research Leader, Mathematical Biology of Vector borne diseases, The Pirbright Institute, UK spoke about the attribution, prediction and mitigation of Climate change and vector borne diseases and Dr Arindam Basu, Senior Lecturer Researcher, Health Services Assessment Collaboration (HSAC), University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand spoke about how climate change is related to infectious disease outbreak and how we can prevent it. Also, present on the occasion was Dr K Anand Kumar, Deputy Managing Director, Indian Immunologicals.

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