Mon | Nov 12, 2018

'Hands across the Species' for the health of all

Published:Wednesday | October 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/ Gleaner Writer
Dr. Paul Cadogan

'Hands across the Species' is the apt theme for Sunday's One Health Day conference to be hosted jointly by the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association and Caribbean College of Family Physicians at the Alhambra Inn, 1 Tucker Avenue, Kingston 6, which is well overdue.

It will mark the first time in Jamaica that human and veterinary professional organisations come together to explore some of the linkages and parallels between human and animal health, as part of the all-encompassing One Health arena.

"We need to compare notes. Physicians need to understand what veterinarians are doing and what we are contributing to health, and by the same token, veterinarians need to know more about the physician side of things. The way the diseases operate may be similar or different, for instance, and how each side can help each other in terms of treatment strategies and so forth needs to be rigorously explored," consultant vet Dr Paul Cadogan told The Gleaner.

"So if you look at zoonotic diseases, those that transmit from human to animals and then maybe back again, and the referral aspects of comparative medicine. So we are looking at the parallels between problems that happen in animals and what happens in humans."

The topics to be addressed by consultants immediately following the opening ceremony are:

- Rabies in the Caribbean

- Rabies - Jamaica's at-risk wildlife

- Influenza across the species

- Leptospirosis - multi-species epidemiology/One Health approach.

Following the lunch break, issues to be addressed under the general heading of zoobiquity are:

- Wound management - dog bites in humans

- Screwworm wound infestations

- Dogs: responsible ownership, training, population control and legislation.

The conference will present an opportunity for "physicians and veterinarians to leave their egos at the door and go inside and learn together, from each other", consistent with the goals of the global campaign One Health Day, which has been observed globally on November 3 since 2016.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com