Brooke Pakistan in collaboration with Ministry of National Food Security and Research, jointly launched the policy brief Investing in Animal Health to Support One Health in Pakistan at an event at in Islamabad on Wednesday, 3rd May 2023. The policy brief is part of research study by the Action for Animal Health coalition.
Key findings include that Pakistan’s animal health sector is underfunded, and its services need to be strengthened to combat global health threats. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the relationship between human, animal, and environmental health. As such, One Health is being increasingly adopted as the leading approach to address these interconnected health challenges – but multiple barriers must be overcome to enable animal health to fully play its part in this unified approach.
Animal health services are essential not only for public health but also for Pakistan’s economic development. Over 8 million rural families are engaged in livestock production, from which they derive more than 35–40 per cent of their household income. However, Pakistan has an average of one veterinarian per 100,000 animals due to a lack of funding for animal health.
To combat global health threats, Pakistan must strengthen its animal health services, including the quality and control of animal health education, institutions, the workforce, surveillance, vaccines, and medicines. This begins by developing appropriate legislation and regulatory frameworks, together with policies to promote these. Better communication and data sharing across the One Health sectors is essential. Communities must be included in actions related to animal welfare, disease prevention, surveillance, and control.
The launch event brought together key government, civil society, academia, and the private sector stakeholders to discuss the policy brief’s recommendations and their implementation. The event featured speeches by high-level government officials, experts in the field of animal health and welfare, and representatives from Brooke Pakistan.
Representatives from the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Livestock department Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Gilgit-Balistan, Azad Kashmir, academia, NGOs and animal welfare alliance members participated in the event. Ms. Romina Khurshid Alam (Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister) was the honourable chief guest and spoke about animal health’s importance to the Sustainable Development Goals. Sardar M Irfan Dogar (Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan), and Dr. M Akram (Animal Husbandry Commissioner Pakistan) also participated in the event.
Dr. Javaid Gondal, Programme Manager Brooke Pakistan said:
“We are delighted to be working with the Ministry of National Food Security and Research on this important initiative. Improving animal health and welfare is critical for sustainable development and poverty reduction in Pakistan. We believe that the recommendations outlined in the policy brief can contribute significantly to achieving these goals.”
Ms. Romina Khurshid Alam said:
“We are pleased to collaborate with Brooke Pakistan on this initiative,” said Ms. Romina “Improving animal health and welfare is a key priority for the government, and we believe this policy brief will help us to develop evidence-based policies and programs that can make a real difference to the lives of animals and people in Pakistan. I invite Brooke Pakistan to the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services after this launch event, and my ministry will facilitate the way forwards for the implementation of the report’s recommendations.”
Read the full report here
Read the policy brief here
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