Georgetown, 29 Mar 2023 (PAHO/WHO) - The PAHO Guyana country office collaborated with the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Interamerican Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), in holding the country's inaugural One Health meeting and launching the implementation of key activities focusing on key areas such as health surveillance, laboratories, food safety, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health, stated, "We feel that with this type of collaboration, both internally and with external partners; we can create a model that can be shown to the rest of the Region of how One Health can be done to reduce future pandemics and challenges."
"For us in PAHO, One Health is a framework that strengthens and consolidates the key areas of technical cooperation that we have with the Ministry of Health and the government of Guyana, particularly in relation to pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response; and as a mechanism to enable the country in achieving its targets on universal health coverage, non-communicable disease, health and well-being throughout the life course, and disease elimination," Dr. Luis Codina, PAHO/WHO in Guyana Representative said.
Ms. Yesim Oruc, the United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC), also emphasized that "while Health, food, water, energy, and environment are all broader topics with sector-specific concerns, the collaboration across sectors and disciplines contributes to protecting Health, addressing health challenges such as the emergence of infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and food safety, and promote the health and integrity of our ecosystems.
The event was attended by more than a hundred delegates from various sectors, partner agencies, and regions, including Ms. Gillian Robyne Smith, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; Mr. Richard A. Blair, the Advisory to the Minister of Agriculture; Ms. Diletta Doretti, Representative from the World Bank; Mr. Wilmot Garnette, Representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Members of the Diplomatic Corps and other Officials.
One Health policy aims to prevent and prepare for current and future health challenges at the human-animal-environment interface by fostering collaboration and coordination across governance frameworks of human, animal, plant, and environmental health programs. During the 59th Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Directing Council in September 2021, countries in the Region of the Americas adopted Resolution CD59. R4 "One Health: A comprehensive approach for addressing health threats at the human-animal-environment interface," mandating PAHO to coordinate, promote, and provide technical cooperation to support countries and territories in implementing One Health.