2nd Meeting of the Veterinary Public Health Working Group,

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Participants of the 2nd VPH WG Meeting

The second meeting of the CaribVET Veterinary Public Health (VPH) Working Group was held at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau, Dominica from September 10th to 12th, 2013. The meeting was co-organised by CaribVET and PAHO/WHO, and hosted by the veterinary services of the Ministry of Agriculture of Dominica. Participants included members of the veterinary services of Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada and Suriname, Veterinary Public Health officers from Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and Health of Dominica, scientists from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), researchers from CIRAD Guadeloupe and from Institut Pasteur of Guadeloupe, as well as the Subregional Advisor in Veterinary Public Health from PAHO/WHO, chair of the Group. The meeting was opened by Dr. Eisenhower Douglas, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

The CaribVET VPH Working Group’s mandate is to coordinate regional activities on Rabies, Leptospirosis and Salmonellosis. Subgroups were formed to work on Rabies, Leptospirosis and Salmonellosis respectively, and activities were identified for each subgroup, to be incorporated into a workplan. Participants discussed the Caribbean One Health policy and finalized the Terms of Reference and membership of the Working Group. An update was provided on CARPHA, highlighting the new agency’s mandate and capabilities in food borne disease surveillance.

Information was provided on upcoming relevant conferences, including: 

- St. Georges University’s One Health One Medicine Conference in Grenada on March 14 to 16, 2014, the Second International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance in Havana, Cuba on May 7th to 9th, 2014, the Caribbean Veterinary Conference in Cayman Islands in November 4th to 7th, 2014, and the 14th International Society on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE) in Merida, Mexico in 2015. Participants were encouraged to submit papers and presentations.

A Leptospirosis workshop was conducted on the second and third days as part of this 2nd meeting of the VPH Working Group, whose focus was on Leptospirosis. The first Meeting focused on Rabies. Participants reviewed the Leptospirosis situation in the Caribbean in animals and humans and discussed Leptospirosis diagnostic capabilities, surveillance, prevention and control in their countries. Presentations were delivered on Leptospirosis in French Overseas Territories, the Global Leptospirosis Environmental Action Network (GLEAN), and human and animal Leptospirosis in Dominica. A root cause analysis was conducted in a working session on Leptospirosis in humans and animals, a method of problem solving that intends to identify the root causes of a problem and that was used to formulate One Health guidelines for Leptospirosis prevention, surveillance, diagnosis and control in the Caribbean.

Finally, participants were informed about a new EU ACP S&T project on One Health that will be implemented in the Caribbean, by the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine, PAHO, and CIRAD, in collaboration with the FAO and Ministries of Agriculture of Grenada, Guyana, and St. Kitts and Nevis. The project entitled “One Health, One Caribbean, One Love” has been approved by the European Union, and will be implemented over 3 years, beginning in 2014.

The meeting achieved its objectives and received favourable evaluations from the participants. Special thanks to the veterinary services of Dominica, whose generous hospitality made this a very enjoyable meeting, and to PAHO staff in Dominica who provided significant logistical support.

 

Alexandra Vokaty, VPH advisor, PAHO/WHO Trinidad.

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