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.
Water safety and security: Using a community based One Health approach
The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (BJCMNP) in Jamaica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rivers in this national park supply water to many areas in eastern Jamaica. Several communities buffer this World Heritage Site and their health and sustainability are tied to the health of the National Park. Communities living in areas close to the Park are usually low-income and are dependent on farming and ecotourism. Certain farming practices, such as the improper disposal of animal waste, threaten the ecological health of the Park. The One Health Team in Jamaica, along with the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT) and the One Health celebrity patron, international dancehall artiste, Roshaun Bay-C, Clarke worked with the Scotts Hall Maroon community to develop sustainable farming practices to reduce pollution of the Scotts Hall river. One of the key innovations that inspired youth participation and interest was a River Health Song Competition that was held in the Scotts Hall community. Participants composed dancehall lyrics on the importance of maintaining healthy rivers in their communities. The enthusiasm from the song competition rekindled efforts within the community to put more emphasis on ecotourism. The community upgraded their eco-heritage tour, which now includes a special guest, the winner of the song competition, Goldie Notch, who sings for visitors about the importance of maintaining healthy environments and healthy rivers.