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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 153  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 394-400

A qualitative exploratory study using One Health approach for developing an intervention package for elimination of human anthrax in an endemic district of Odisha, India

1 Department of Microbiology and One Health, ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar, India
2 Office of the Chief District Medical Officer, Koraput, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Koraput, Government of Odisha, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanghamitra Pati
ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar 751 023, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_646_21

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Background & objectives: Anthrax is a zoonotic disease of public health concern in India. One of the key predisposing factors is linked to the behaviour of the community. This study was nested within a baseline survey to understand the risk perception, attitude, socio-cultural and behavioural practices among different communities in an anthrax endemic tribal district of Odisha, India. It was aimed to explore the systemic gaps from the officials of different departments while addressing the animal and human anthrax cases and the knowledge, attitude, and behavioural practices among the tribal communities with regards to both animal and human anthrax signs, symptoms, and transmission from animal to human. Methods: A qualitative exploratory study was carried out in the district of Koraput, Odisha. Insights from eight focus group discussions (FGDs) and 42 in-depth-interviews (IDIs) with the stakeholders from health, veterinary, forest, general administrative departments and community were collected and analyzed thematically. Results: Major themes that emerged were inter-departmental coordination, livestock vaccination, surveillance network, laboratory facilities, prevention and control strategies with regards to the animal and human anthrax cases. The study also emphasized setting up the surveillance system as per the standard guidelines, and strengthening the diagnostic facilities for timely detection of confirmed cases. It also highlighted the current needs and the gaps among inter-sectoral coordination, collaboration, and sensitization among Health, Veterinary, Forest, Education, Nutrition, and Tribal Welfare Departments at various levels to reduce the prevalence and control the outbreaks of anthrax in the district and State. Interpretation & conclusions: The coordination gaps, financial burden, insufficient relevant knowledge and information among the concerned stakeholders were the issues found in this study in addition to non-availability of proper diagnostic facility. The coordination among different departments adapting One Health approach may be one of the best possible ways for the elimination of anthrax cases in an endemic region.

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