One Health Leadership Series
One of the major activities of the UWI’s EU/ACP funded One Health One Caribbean One Love project, was the two (2) year One Health Leadership Series. It brought together 29 Caribbean professionals from diverse backgrounds across 12 Countries and built capacity in Leadership and One Health.
One Health National Projects
Learning by Doing
Participants in the One Health Leadership Series were given an opportunity to turn knowledge into action. One Health national teams were formed and tasked to design and implement small, funded, locally relevant projects in each of the 12 participating countries. Each national team was supported by a mentor. Participants gained insights and experience in facilitating change, building and negotiating relationships and empowering and engaging others across scales and sectors. During workshops, participants shared their successes and challenges, lessons learnt and best practices from around the region.
National One Health projects included heavy metal testing of shark meat in Trinidad and Tobago, construction of a mobile aquaponics to reduce the risk of mercury exposure from eating fresh water fish in Suriname, antimicrobial resistance and residues testing in Barbados, reduction of pesticide use in Haiti, managing the invasive lionfish in St Vincent and the Grenadines, managing the giant African snail in Antigua and Barbuda, creative messaging for childhood obesity in Grenada, addressing iron deficiency anaemia through food security in Dominica, rabies outreach in Belize, solid waste management in Guyana and sustainable watershed management in protected areas, Jamaica.
Managing an Invasive Species, Giant African Snail,
The Giant African Snail is an invasive species, originating from East Africa. It has invaded several Caribbean countries, including Barbados, Antigua and Trinidad. This snail is both a food security and a public health threat to the Caribbean; it has the capacity to destroy over 500 species of plants and serves as an intermediate host of the rat lung worm that causes eosinophilic meningitis in
people. The snail has also been cited as a cause of road accidents due to sheer numbers on roads.
Engaging senior Ministry officials in Health, Agriculture and the Environment, the Antigua One Health team highlighted the risks posed by the snail to humans, agriculture and the environment. They also developed outreach and training material for stakeholders and established working relationships with officials from the Ministry of Health and Agriculture, health care workers, Ministry of Agriculture representatives and farmers. This One Health team conducted farmer field school training in the Jolly Hill District / Bolans New Extension area of Antigua, which highlighted practical methods of prevention and control of the snail.
Photo Caption: Dr. Anju Smith carrying out farmer training