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Vaccinators Training Program for Van Gujjar Community Members of Dehradun

Dehradun, 27 July  (UH). The “Vaccinators Training Program for Van Gujjar Community Members of Haridwar and Dehradun” was jointly organized in Dehradun by One Health Support Unit of the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD)-Government of India, Chaudhary Charan Singh National Institute of Animal Health (CCSNIAH)-Baghpat and Animal Husbandry Department, Uttarakhand under the One-Health pilot project of Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India on 27th July 2022. The Program was held as part of the pilot interventions of the One Health project in Uttarakhand and Karnataka states by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD), Government of India with the financial support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as the implementing partner.

One-Health is a multi-sectoral approach that takes into consideration human, animal and environment health and the interconnectivity and interdependence of these three elements. Van Gujjars are the nomadic tribes of Uttarakhand, living in the fringe areas of the forest and usually migrate during the summer seasons, therefore have swift and sustained interaction between the forests and the civilization. The huge buffalo population of the Van Gujjar community usually is at a risk as a two-way carrier for the infectious (including zoonotic) diseases by living in close contact with the wild animals and the Van Gujjars. Addressing the awareness and requirement of Van Gujjar community for zoonotic diseases is important for achieving the ambitious goal of One Health in Uttarakhand. Therefore, to create awareness about vaccination and deworming and giving impetus for wider outreach to the State’s vaccination drive the training programmes were organized in Dehradun. A total of 28 Van Gujjar Community Members of Dehradun District including Sri Amanat Ali, Vice President, Van Gujjar Tribal Yuva Sangathan attended the training programme. The programme was graced with the presence of Dr Prem Kumar, Director Animal Husbandry, Uttarakhand; Dr Ajit Singh Yadav, Director, CCSNIAH, Baghpat; Dr Devendra Sharma, Joint Director & Nodal Officer, One Health (Uttarakhand); Dr Neeraj Singhal, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Uttarakhand; Dr Sandeep Kumar Singh, Joint Director, CCSNIAH; Dr Vikas Gupta, Assistant Director, CCSNIAH; and Dr Nihar Nalini Mohanty, Assistant Director, CCSNIAH.

The training program comprised of various sessions wherein interactive lectures were delivered by experts highlighting the importance of vaccination, deworming, and tagging in animals, vaccination schedule to be followed, precautions to be taken while vaccinating the animal, and the importance of biosecurity for the prevention of animal diseases to name a few.  A question-answer and feedback session moderated by Dr. R. K. Singh Project Director, One Health Support Unit followed the technical sessions to clear the doubts of the trainees. At the conclusion of the training program, Dr Prem Kumar, Director, Department of Animal Husbandry, Uttarakhand emphasized the implementation of the One Health program in Uttarakhand and assured all the help including community engagement. The training program along with other initiatives of the One Health pilot will further reduce the chances of infectious diseases by enhancing the practice of tagging and vaccinating the livestock amongst the Van Gujjar community and associating them with the mainstream society by creating awareness about the initiatives taken by DAHD for reducing the occurrence of zoonotic and non-zoonotic diseases. Today’s training program was conducted for members of the Van Gujjar Community of Dehradun District and tomorrow (28-07-2022) a similar training program would be organized for members of the Van Gujjar Community of Haridwar and Rishikesh. In near future, training programme of community members of Karnataka state will also be organized.

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