One Health Workshop

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Trinidad and Tobago, 25th March, 2013. The Pan American Health Organisation’s Veterinary Public Health Program organized a sub-regional workshop entitled “One Health: From Ideas to Action” on February 28th and March 1st, 2013 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The workshop was a collaboration between PAHO/WHO, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.                  View Report

 Thirty eight (38) delegates comprising senior decision makers in Public Health, Animal Health and the environment from eight Caribbean countries participated in the workshop, as well as technical personnel from CABI, CARPHA, FAO, IICA, OIE, PAHO/WHO, USDA-APHIS and Ross University, St. Georges University  and  the University  of  the West  Indies.    Participating countries included the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.    The workshop facilitators were Dr. Barry Stemshorn of the University of Ottawa and Dr. Craig Stephen of the Centre for Coastal Health and the University of Calgary.

Participants worked in groups to develop One Health project ideas and action plans to create greater awareness in their countries and the Caribbean region.  The projects proposed for further development included:

(1) Application of a One Health approach to vector borne diseases.  This project idea focused on threat identification and management, including strengthening surveillance and diagnostic capacity, standardisation of  test  protocols, the  development,  selection, and  implementation  of intervention strategies, as well as coordinating emergency response mechanisms.  The group suggested exploration of disease  transmission   mechanisms   for  vector   borne   diseases  as   well   as  the   development   of communications strategies.  Examples of vector borne diseases included dengue hemorrhagic fever and leptospirosis.

 (2) Sustainable land and water use:  In response to environmental resource conflicts for small island developing states, the project idea was to conduct a situational analysis of existing policies and practises in the Caribbean regarding the issues of sustainable land and water use, to determine which existing activities could benefit from a One Health approach, or where gaps exist that could be addressed with a One Health Approach. This would then provide a basis to develop future larger projects.

(3) Development of mechanisms to integrate surveillance information to be used in decision making. The integrated surveillance system would include public health and animal health surveillance data as well as climactic data in order to monitor and detect trends, as well as to predict outbreaks.  This project would help to increase compliance with International Health Regulations core components 10 and 11.

(4) Development of Caribbean regional and national One Health policies.  This work group decided that a policy framework would be necessary to break down the barriers between the agricultural, environmental and health sectors that currently prevent multisectoral collaboration.  The group proposed to formulate and circulate a One Health concept note to workshop participants and Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and the Environment, for review and feedback. The One Health policy would be discussed at CARICOM meetings of Chief Veterinary Officers and Chief Medical Officers, in preparation for adoption by Ministers of Health, Agriculture and the Environment at COHSOD and COTED meetings respectively.  CARICOM’s assistance would be requested in order to develop the Caribbean One Health policy.  Action plans would then be developed in order to implement the policies. At the national level, countries were encouraged to use existing multisectoral committees to promote and adopt One Health approaches.  Rather than creating new structures, instruments such as memoranda of understanding could be used to facilitate intersectoral collaboration. The participants agreed to create more awareness and understanding of One Health when they returned to their organisations and countries.

Some of their commitments included:

(1) Advocacy: briefing their Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, and supervisors on the workshop and promoting a One Health approach in their countries.

(2) Communicating the One Health approach through their professional networks and peer groups, such as NGOs, professional bodies and organisations (veterinary and medical Associations), friends, civil society, businesses, and IHR focal points.

(3) Adding Value - Examining the ways in which the One Health approach can be introduced into existing activities and projects and add value to multisectoral groupings through this approach

(4) Academia – The university representatives gave a commitment to apply a One Health approach into studies through the curriculum design.     They also promised to generate some research to provide examples for areas of One Health.  However, some funding would be required.

(5) CARPHA is well positioned to be a leader in the One Health Approach as it is in its formative stages and can choose to have a more integrated approach as relevant regional organizations have come under one umbrella.

At the end of the workshop the Evaluation Report showed that the objectives were achieved because:

           92.2% of the participants agreed that there was an increased awareness of how to apply the OneHealth approach to issues at the human-animal–environmental interface in the Caribbean region.

             94.4% of the participants agreed that a Caribbean network of professionals in human, animal and environmental health who are motivated to champion, promote and utilize an intersectoral One Health approach had been created.

             84.6% of the participants agreed that the One Health priority issues and activities were brought to the fore and recognized for further development into a regional proposal.

The program content and delivery were very highly rated by the majority of the participants as being relevant, having met expectations, well organized, effectively presented, provided opportunities for peer interaction and presenter/ participant interaction, and useful.

Dr. Akenath Misir, Acting Chief Medical Officer of Trinidad and Tobago, delivers Opening Address at Caribbean One Health Workshop: From Ideas to Action, in Port of Spain on February 28th, 2013.

Participants in the Caribbean One Health Workshop

Opening ceremony speakers in the One Health Workshop. 

From Left to Right: Mr. Chris Browne (Consul, Canadian High Commission, Trinidad and Tobago), Dr. Alexandra Vokaty (Subregional Advisor in Veterinary Public Health, PAHO), Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi (PAHO/WHO Representative Trinidad and Tobago), Dr. Akenath Misir (Acting CMO Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago)

Opening ceremony speakers in the One Health Workshop.

From Left to Right: Mr. Chris Browne (Consul, Canadian High Commission, Trinidad and Tobago), Dr. Alexandra Vokaty (Subregional Advisor in Veterinary Public Health, PAHO), Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi (PAHO/WHO Representative Trinidad and Tobago), Dr. Akenath Misir (Acting CMO Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago)

Last Updated on Friday, 05 April 2013 14:22