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 One Health team in Grenada tackled the growing rate of childhood obesity, focusing on the pre-school population. Forming a multi-disciplinary team with members from across Ministries, they put together a “big picture” of ongoing efforts in Grenada to address the obesity issue and identified gaps which needed filling. Through this systems approach, they focused their efforts on developing a culturally appropriate targeted awareness campaign for pre-school kids as the immediate audience, with the goal of spill over into the larger community. The team consisted of representatives from the Ministries Health, Agriculture and Education, as well as famous Grenadian soca artistes.
These soca artistes composed a song emphasizing messages on obesity and lifestyle related factors which was performed to the Green Street Pre-school community. The song will be played on national radio stations, within schools and other fora to continue building awareness on the health risks associated with obesity emphasizing the measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of its related chronic diseases.
Photo Caption: Children at the Green Streed Pre-school