Experts in a webinar organizes by SDPI call for ‘One Health’ approach to deal with health-related challenges
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Stressing the need to adopt a holistic approach to deal with health-related challenges, including mental and physical diseases, experts said that climate change, environmental degradation, and population growth are some of the critical issues that need to be address on priority.
These views were expressed at a webinar on ‘Our Planet, Our Health’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here.
Dean and Chief Executive of FMTI, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Rizwan Taj, said that mental health comes first as it is extremely important for a normal physical health. Thus, all the SDGs directly impact ‘mental health. He emphasized that a comprehensive prevention and diagnosing policy encompassing all the members of the society can help recover people from the mental health issues.
Vice-Chancellor of Health Services Academy Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan was of view that environmental degradation as a result of tree-cutting is not only an environmental issue but also it causes complications for human health.
He said: “unplanned or poorly planned urbanization leads to slums, and ultimately creates communicable and non-communicable diseases among human beings.” He added that the health of nation can be improved by a multi-sectorial approach and discussing the issue on diverse forums.
Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice-Chancellor of University of Agriculture Faisalabad, stressed the need to go for ‘One Health’ approach, which includes all the ingredients such as food and water preservation. He added that population growth has also exacerbated the situation of food which causes malnutrition and stunted growth.
While mentioning climate-related hazards, Dr. Khalid Saeed, Regional Advisor on Mental Health, World Health Organization, said that such hazards have increased by 50 per cent along with the slow threats like water shortages and food insecurity and hence, creating a direct impact on human health.
“Prioritizing mental health policies and integrating them with other policies at nation level is the need of hour,” he said and called for a global commitment for the SDGs and commitment for the Paris agreement on climate change as mental health is directly linked to climate change.
Dr. Muhammad Imran, Microbiologist at Agriculture University Faisalabad, said that plastic particles in food stuff are not only toxic for human body but also hazardous for the planet and other creatures.
Dr Razia Safdar from SDPI asserted that mental health at the policy and implementation level is the need of hour. Moreover, conserving and protecting the food chains from hazardous nutrients should be focused, she said.
Ms Ayesha Ilyas, Co-Ordinator Advocacy and Policy Outreach, SDPI, earlier informed the audience that April 7 is the international Health Day which is celebrated in order to create awareness regarding a good wellbeing and diseased-free health.