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One Health is all about finding sustainable solutions to interconnected health problems involving people, animals, agriculture and the environment through partnerships and cooperation across sectors. The Caribbean nations are connected by shared waters, culture and climates, yet the distance, diversity and various approaches to governance between nations complicates efforts to promote an integrated, holistic approach to problems. Overcoming this challenge is urgent because of the many significant One Health problems in the region, such as more frequent and more severe tropical storms and hurricanes, water shortages, rises in sea levels, losses of fisheries, increases in mosquito-borne diseases and chronic non-communicable diseases linked to poor nutrition, poverty and environmental pollution.
A European Union (EU) funded project (One Health, One Caribbean, One Love), being led by the School of Veterinary Medicine in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the UWI in Trinidad and Tobago, has tested tangible actions to make One Health operational in the Caribbean. Firstly, a platform for change has been developed through a regional One Health policy, which was endorsed by the human, agricultural and environmental councils of the Caribbean community (CARICOM). Secondly, a cadre of inter-sectorial One Health leaders with skills to be agents of change was created across the region. A regional network of 29 inter-sectoral leaders in One Health has been developed across 12 Caribbean countries. The teams of One Health leaders worked with technical mentors who supported them to carry out national projects which demonstrated the value of a One Health approach to address priority health-related issues at the interface between human, animal and environmental health in their home country. Finally, a 6-year Caribbean One Health road-map or strategic framework has been written detailing who is responsible for rolling out the change. Its endorsement and roll-out is central to a follow-on project that is being submitted for funding to the EU.
More detailed outputs from the project are summarized in a freely accessible E-book entitled ‘Caribbean Resilience and Prosperity through One Health’: Click here
Bay C Video:
Chris Oura and Bay C Video:
One Health is about working together to improve the health of all species and places. It links people, capacity and expertise in human health, veterinary medicine and environmental health!