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.
The Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts of Belize have witnessed recent increases in the numbers of bovine rabies cases transmitted by bats. Although rabies is endemic, farmers do not practice routine vaccination in these districts. Historically, the response to Rabies outbreaks has been uncoordinated across sectors. The Belize One Health team centralised efforts and shared information and resources across the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Environment and the private sector. They actively engaged the at-risk communities in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts and responded to the specific needs of the affected communities. Using outreach and an onsite community clinic, the team provided training in the importance of administering Rabies vaccines to livestock and pets, communicated risks posed by vampire bats to humans and animals and trained medical personnel in first-aid care of people exposed to Rabies through bite wounds from potentially rabid animals.
Photo Caption: Dr. Joe Myers at work