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.
Promoting healthy eating and reducing mosquito breeding sites through backyard home gardening and composting systems.
Anse La Raye is a coastal fishing village that has one of the highest prevalence levels for vector borne illnesses, including Dengue and Chikungunya, in St Lucia. This village also has high rates of chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and experiences problems with solid waste management, resulting in piles of discarded tyres, uncovered or unused drums and other waste products that act as breeding sites for mosquitoes.
Partnering with the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Education, as well as the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of the local primary school in the community, the One Health team constructed a greenhouse and a plant nursery within the school grounds using organic farming principles. Crops were harvested and used in the School Feeding Programme, improving the nutritional quality of the school meals and increasing access to healthy food options. Students, parents and teachers involved in maintaining the nursery and greenhouse were taught to utilise recycled materials such as tyres and containers to promote backyard gardening in their homes.
Photo Caption: Aedes aegypti mosquito