The Ministry of Health has been warning of the introduction of a new vector-borne disease - the Zika Virus, also called ZikV. It has made its first appearence in the western hemisphere, with cases being diagnosed in humans in Brazil.
Zika, caused by a Flavivirus - the same family that includes Dengue Fever and West Nile viruses - is classified as an Emerging Disease and is another that had its origins in animals - specifically non-human primates. It is transmitted by Aedes sp. mosquitoes and thus has the potential to spread wherever these insects exist.
It is NOT known to infect any of the domestic animal species so pets, livestock, horses and other animals around us should remain unaffected should the disease arrive on our shores.
University of Florida ONE HEALTH Newsletter: CLICK HERE (Vol. 8: Issue 3)
World Antibiotic Awareness Week - November 14 - 20, 2015
The vast majority of antibiotics are prescription only items, to be dispensed and used according to the instructions of a licensed physician or dentist for humans, or veterinarian for animals. These medical practitioners must all endeavour to prescribe these drugs responsibly and appropriately. Their patients, be they human or animal need to take the course of treatment as prescribed – no more, no less – unless otherwise instructed by their doctor. Regulatory agencies need to ensure that proper checks and balances are in place regarding the distribution of these drugs.
In the veterinary sector, antibiotic use is essential in the treatment of infections in animals, whether companion or food-producing. Drugs for food producing animals carry a withdrawal period – which is the length of time after the last treatment with the drug in which the food generated from that animal, whether meat or milk becomes safe for human consumption, that is, the animal’s system becomes clear of residues of the drug. To ensure safety, both meat and milk can and are tested for antibiotic residues.
In Jamaica, although the variety of veterinary-specific antibiotics available is very small when compared to our human counterparts, the JVMA strongly advocates for the responsible use of these drugs by our members and the animal-owning public. We must all play our role in protecting this vital part of our health care arsenal. We call on all regulators, prescribers and users of antibiotics to use this week to educate themselves on the issue, and put what they learn into practice. Antibiotics: Handle With Care!
Please click HERE for a release from the World Veterinary Association.
Please click HERE for a Fact Sheet from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA) joins in the global observation of Antibiotic Awareness Week. Antibiotics and antimicrobial drug resistance is a major One Health issue facing the broad heath sector.
The development of antibiotics was one of the seminal achievements in medicine in the 20th century. Since the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928 and its first use to treat infections in 1942, a wide spectrum of classes of antimicrobial drugs have been developed, enabling health professionals to effectively treat bacterial infections that would otherwise have had serious or deadly consequences for the people and animals they affected.
But, unfortunately, bacteria have the capability through genetic diversity and mutation, to develop resistance to these drugs, and the more they have been used, the more resistant strains of these organisms have been emerging. Consequently, we are once again facing a possible future in which these infections will once again be able to take both human and animal lives with impunity. That is…unless action is taken by ALL involved in using antibiotics.
First Module of Caribbean One Health Leadership Series completed in Tobago
Dr. Roderick King guides the group of Caribbean One Health Leaders in a discussion on leadership skills.
November 18, 2014
The first module One Health, One Caribbean, One Love Leadership Series tooks place in Tobago from November 11 -13. Particpants from all over the region took part in this programme under the auspices of the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Food & Agricuture Organization (FAO), the agricultural research organization CIRAD, and CaribVet (the Caribbean Animal Health Network) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA).
Participants were selected from applicants who responded to a scholarship offer earlier this year and are drawn from all areas of health, environmental and and social sciences. They will particpate in a total of four modules over the next two years and will form the nucleus of the development and implementation of the principles and practices of One Health in the region. They will be expected to implement a small scale One Health project in their respective countries.
The distribution of the particpants was as follows (moving eastwards then south): Belize (3), Cuba (1), Jamaica (4), Haiti (2), Antigua & Barbuda (1), Dominica (3), St. Lucia (2), Barbados (3), St. Vincent & the Grenadines (3), Grenada (3), Trinidad & Tobago (6), Guyana (3) and Suriname (3).
The team of Facilitators and Mentors introduced the group to One Health issues and the development of leadership skills. They included Dr. Craig Stephen, executive director of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and professor at the Western School of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatchewan, Dr. David Waltner-Toews, founding president of Veterinarians Without Borders - Canada and of the Network for Ecosystem Sustainability & Health, Dr. Roderick King of the Department of Global health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School in the United States, and Ms. Mirine Dye of the Florida Institute for Health Innovation. Caribbean Facilitators and Mentors included Prof. Chris Oura (UWI-School of Veterinary Medicine), Dr. Sandra Vokaty (PAHO), Dr. T. Alafia Samuels (UWI-School of Medicine), Dr. Cedric Lazarus (FAO) and Mr.Roger McLean (UWI-Social Sciences).
Two Jamaican veterinarians participated - Dr. Rayon Gregory and Dr. Paul Cadogan. The other Jamaican delegates were Ms. Dahlia Plunkett, Public Health Inspector, Ministry of Health, and environmental scientist and lecturer Dr. Chandra Degia.
The second module in the series will take place in June of 2015, at a venue to be decided, under the theme Food Safety and Security.
Second Module of Caribbean One Health Leadership Series in Jamaica - June 23 -26, 2015
The seond module of the One Health, One Caribbean One Love (OHOCOL) Leadership Series took place at the Cardiff Hotel in Runaway Bay, St. Ann from June 23 - 26, 2015. The first took place in Tobago in November of last year. The Leadership Series is part of the EU/ACP-funded Caribbean One Health project and is designed to create a network of One Health Leaders drawn mainly from the human health, animal health and environmental professional sectors in order to facilitate an integrated approach to health issues, food safety and security, and social and environmental well-being. Each particpating country's team of Leaders will be expected to implement a small scale One Health project in their country during the four-module programme.
The opening ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 23, and featured Mr. Dermon Spence, Chief Technical Director of the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries bringing greetings and Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, Deputy Principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona, giving the feature address. Recording artiste Roshaun "Bay-C" Clarke of the group T.O.K., Celebrity Patron of the One Health Jamaica (OHJ) team, was the featured performer. Dr. Paul Cadogan, OHJ team member, performed and original One Health song called "The Answer" Maroons from the community of Scotts Hall, St. Mary, the location of OHJ's local One Health project, opened and closed the ceremony with the blowing of the Abeng, traditional drumming, song and dance.
The theme of Module 2 was "Interconnectivity for food safety and security". Apart from theme related content, the module included leadership training, such as the use of interest-based negotiations and project management. Field trips looked at the state of fisheries and fish farming, and compared traditional crop farming to the organic methodology.
Technical, theme-related sessions on Day 2 were open to invited guests from the human health, veterinary and environmental sectors. It was well attended.
The third module of the One Health Leadership Series will take place in Guyana in December 2015.
One Health Jamaica team members are Environmental Scientist Dr. Chandra Degia, Public Health Inspector Ms. Dahlia Plunkett and Veterinarians Dr. Rayon Gregory and Dr. Paul Cadogan.
Some of the Veterinarians attending Day 2 of the Module: Back row L-R: Drs. Rayon Gregory, Kevin Walker, Wintorph Marsden, Paul Cadogan, Ian Anderson, Ryan Chanona. Front row L-R: Drs. Sarah Eytle, Audrie McNab, Ikolyn Ricketts, Suzan Miguel, Gillian Ellis.
Module 3 of One Health series in Guyana - December 1 - 4, 2015
One Health Leaders at a field trip preparatory discussion
The third module of the One Health Leadership Series, part of the One Health, One Caribbean, One Love (OHOCOL) project took place in Georgetown, Guyana from December 1 – 4, 2015. The theme of the module was Environment & Health with special emphasis on the issue of climate change.
Apart from further sessions on leadership and project management, participants were treated to technical presentations on climate change, its current and potential effects in the region as well as field trips. Final preparations for country project implementation were made.
The final module in the series is to take place in Grenada in June 2016.
The OHOCOL project is being implemented by the University of the West Indies in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the Ministries of Agriculture of Grenada, Guyana and St. Kitts & Nevis with funding from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Union (EU).