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India Empowering Animal Health: Digitising Vaccine Cold Chain Management

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In a significant initiative, the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD), under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India to digitise vaccine cold chain management, bolster capacity building, and streamline communication planning in the country.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was formally signed at the UNDP Country Office in Lodhi Estate, New Delhi. Smt Alka Upadhyay, Secretary of the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, and Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in India, sealed the strategic collaboration. This alliance aims to modernise vaccine cold chain management processes, enhance capacity-building initiatives, and streamline communication strategies across India.

Addressing the significance of the partnership, Alka Upadhyay emphasised the critical role of robust supply chains and reliable cold chain equipment in expanding immunisation coverage and outreach. With India’s vast human and livestock population presenting unique challenges, the digitalisation of vaccine stock management systems promises to address supply inequities by leveraging real-time information on vaccine stocks, flows, and storage temperatures.

The implementation of cutting-edge technologies such as the Animal Vaccine Intelligence Network (AVIN), developed by UNDP, will play a pivotal role in monitoring the vaccine cold chain management process.

Ms Caitlin Wiesen reiterated the importance of this collaboration amidst the backdrop of frequent zoonotic disease outbreaks and climate change. Through this partnership, UNDP aims to bolster India’s animal vaccine supply chain management system, safeguarding communities and animals alike while mitigating risks at the human-animal-environment interface.

Smt Sarita Chauhan, Joint Secretary (LH) of DAHD, shed light on the collaboration’s objectives, emphasising the crucial role of new-age technology and artificial intelligence in real-time monitoring of India’s expansive cold chain infrastructure. Leveraging UNDP’s cold chain monitoring system, DAHD aims to ensure vaccines are delivered across the country with precision and efficiency, maintaining optimal storage temperatures critical for immunisation success.

Central to this collaboration is the joint effort to strengthen animal health through a One Health approach, fostering a digital future through the digitalisation and remote temperature monitoring of cold chains. This initiative ensures vaccines are stored within the prescribed temperature limits, bolstering immunisation coverage and outreach across the nation.

Through the MoU, technical assistance will be extended to the Central Institute for Research on Cattle (CIRC) to enhance its capabilities in animal husbandry practices. Additionally, the partnership will focus on the planning and development of a comprehensive livestock insurance program and the implementation of an effective communication strategy to enhance outreach and engagement.

This landmark collaboration between DAHD and UNDP marks a significant stride towards enhancing animal health and husbandry practices in India. By leveraging UNDP’s global expertise and DAHD’s mandate, this partnership aims to establish a robust, efficient, and inclusive framework for managing animal health and welfare in the country.

India is actively pursuing digital solutions, cutting-edge technology, and data analytics to modernise and enhance efficiency in the animal husbandry and dairying sector. With a focus on leveraging technological advancements, India aims to optimise operations, improve productivity, and ensure the welfare of livestock through innovative approaches and data-driven strategies.

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, organised a workshop on ‘Count of Pastoralists and their Livestock in 21st Livestock Census’ to harness digital solutions and cutting-edge technology for a deeper understanding of pastoralism practices and habitats.

Participants, including states with pastoralist populations, NGOs, and government organisations, engaged in discussions on inclusive definitions and advanced data collection techniques, highlighting the integration of data analytics into census methodologies. This census, conducted biennially since 1919, serves as a crucial data source for livestock welfare programs, employing breed-wise analysis and demographic metrics to drive sectoral improvements.


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