Srinagar, July 06: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) celebrated World Zoonosis Day on Thursday, honoring the birthday of renowned French scientist Louis Pasteur. The event aimed to raise awareness about zoonotic diseases and promote preventive measures under the theme "One World, One Health: Prevent Zoonosis, Stop the Spread."
The program commenced with a warm welcome from Prof. Liyaqat Ali Chowdhary, Professor (Agri-Extension), who introduced the guest speaker, Prof. Abdul Shakoor, Head of Pharmacology & Toxicology. Prof. M.A.A. Siddique, the acting Vice-Chancellor of SKUAST-K, acknowledged Prof. Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi, Director of Extension, for organizing the enlightening awareness program on zoonosis.
Highlighting the growing culture of rearing pets in Kashmir, Prof. Siddique expressed concern about the potential transmission of diseases through these animals. He emphasized that pets, including rare ones, can serve as reservoirs for viral diseases and contribute to the spread of infections in the human population. He cited statistics indicating that approximately 60% of human diseases are caused by zoonotic pathogens, with bats being a significant source of infection. Prof. Siddique advised the audience to take preventive measures, such as adopting good hygiene practices and learning about safe food handling.
Prof. Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi further elucidated the concept of zoonotic diseases and emphasized the importance of maintaining good hygiene when in contact with apparently healthy animals. He underscored that proper handwashing is a vital preventive measure. Using a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation, he provided participants with valuable insights into zoonotic diseases and their prevention strategies.
As the guest speaker, Prof. Abdul Shakoor, Head of Pharmacology & Toxicology, shed light on Toxoplasmosis, a zoonotic disease caused by a parasite found in soil, water, meat, and the feces of infected animals, particularly cats. He emphasized that human exposure to the disease can occur through contact with cat feces or by consuming undercooked meat. Prof. Shakoor stressed the importance of implementing preventive measures, such as wearing gloves when gardening and avoiding inhalation of dust contaminated with the parasite.
The event concluded with a vote of thanks to the chair, expressing gratitude for the informative and insightful sessions delivered by the esteemed speakers. The celebration of World Zoonosis Day at SKUAST-K served as a reminder of the need for global cooperation to prevent zoonotic diseases and promote the concept of One Health, ensuring the well-being of humans, animals, and the environment.