JVMA President Dr. Kevin Walker (2nd left) receives the World Veterinary Day Award from WVA President Dr. Rene' Carlson (2nd right) while Jamaica’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Osbil Watson (left) holding up Jamaica’s flag and OIE Director General Dr. Monique Eloit (centre) look on.
The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association has been selected as the winner of the World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIE’s) World Veterinary Day Award 2016. The award is given annually to the World Veterinary Association (WVA) member group whose activities related to the World Veterinary Day theme are adjudged the best by the WVA and OIE. This is the first year the JVMA has applied for the award and its submission came out on top among the 30 applications from member countries submitted to the WVA. World Veterinary Day was observed on April 30 this year.
In her letter to the JVMA,WVA President Dr. Rene' Carlson said : "On behalf of the WVA and the OIE, I am happy to inform you that the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association was selected as the winner of the Veterinary Day Award 2016 for the comprehensive awareness campaign on One Health issues. Congratulations."
The award was presented on Sunday May 22, 2016 on the opening day of the 84th General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates in Paris, France by WVA President Dr. Rene' Carlson. On hand to receive it wasDr. Kevin Walker, JVMA President. Also in attendance was Jamaica’s OIE Delegate Dr. Osbil Watson, Jamaica’s Chief Veterinary Officer. The win is even more fitting given that 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the JVMA.
The JVMA won the award based on its activities related to this year’s theme “Continuing Education with a One Health Focus”. These activities took place over a period of time and a major highlight was collaboration with the One Health One Caribbean One Love (OHOCOL) project which is being implemented in the region by the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine and its partners with funding from theEuropean Union through the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Group of States.
Activities included the One Health Symposium (see below), the Sunday Gleaner supplement, the JVMA Trophy race at Caymanas, a seminar on Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health-related technical presentations at General Meetings and more. Outreach to our non-veterinary colleagues in the health sector was noted.
The JVMA would like to thank all our members, partners, supporters and all who contributed to this success on the international stage!
For information on the OIE application process and criteria please click HERE.
JVMA President Dr. Kevin Walker with WVA President Dr. Rene' Carlson following the award presentation
Dr. Osbil Watson holds the Jamaican flag high as WVA President Dr. Rene' Carlson announces the winner of the WVD 2016 Award.
Dr. Kevin Walker gives his acceptance speech on behalf of the JVMA as Dr. Watson (leftL and OIE Delegate President Dr. Botihe Modisane (centre) look on.
ONE HEALTH SYMPOSIUM - May 1, 2016
In celebration of World Veterinary Day 2016, under the theme “Continuing Education with a One Health Focus”, the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association (JVMA) and the One Health, One Caribbean, One Love (OHOCOL) project held a One Health Symposium on Sunday May 1st, 2016. The event, which was the first of its kind in Jamaica, took place at the Law Faculty Lecture Theatre 2 on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies.
It was open to all professionals from the veterinary, human health and environment sectors in an effort to introduce, promote and build the practice of One Health in Jamaica, while at the same time providing continuing professional education opportunities for veterinarians, physicians and other health sector personnel.
The scientific programme was accredited for 6 continuing education credits by both the Jamaica Veterinary Board and the Medical Council of Jamaica. CE credits are required for annual re-licensure by physicians, veterinarians, dentists, nurses, public health inspectors, pharmacists in Jamaica.
The Symposium featured international and local speakers covering a variety of topics which fall under the One Health umbrella. The international facilitators were Professor Craig Stephen, a Canadian veterinarian with vast experience in the One Health arena, andProfessor Chris Oura, veterinary virologist from the UWI School of Veterinary Medicine and OHOCOL project leader. Local presenters include Professor Elizabeth Thomas-Hope C.D. and Dr. Chandra Degia from the environmental sector, parasitologist Professor John Lindo, veterinarian Dr. Paul Cadogan, public health inspector Ms. Dahlia Plunkett and physiotherapist Dr. Terri-Ann Samuels and physician Dr. Sonia Copeland, Ministry of Health. Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton was represented by Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Winston De La Haye.Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Osbil Watson chaired the opening session and brought greetings on behalf of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries. Ms. Yvette Strong brought greetings on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of the National Environment & Planning Agency,Mr. Peter Knight. The European Union representative for the region Mr. Jesus Orus brought greetings. Director of Fisheries Mr. André Kong and head of the U-Tech School of Public Health Professor Winston Davidson were in attendance.
The 126 participants included veterinarians, physicians, dentists, environmental & wildlife personnel, nurses, public health inspectors, animal health technicians, agricultural officers, students and others interested persons.
Please click HERE to view some of the Presentations.
Please click HERE or visit the Photo Gallery for photos.
Part of the audience at the symposium
Prof. Chris Oura presents on viral diseases of current concern.
World Veterinary Day 2016
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The JVMA's World Veterinary Day Gleaner feature was published on Sunday May 1, 2016. It featured 20 pages of messages and articles supported by advertising. The JVMA would like to thank all the message, article and photograph contributors and advertisers who made it possible.
To view the messages and articles from the feature, please click HERE.
Another World Veterinary Day weekend saw the running of a race at Caymanas Park in tribute to the Jamaican veterinary community. The Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association World Veterinary Day Trophy Race was run at 4:05 PM on Saturday April 30, 2016, and saw Lord Equus (O. Mullings, jockey) romping his way to victory over the field.
A number of veterinarians were on hand for the presentation of the trophy.
DISEASE OF THE WEEK
The Tilapia Lake Virus
Tilapia in a tank. Photo Courtesy of Dr. Carla Phillips
In recent years, infectious diseases that directly impact us humans have been cropping up one after another. We have had Chikungunya, Ebola, Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Enterovirus D68 in the USA, a new version of H1N1 Influenza-A, Zika Virus and most recently an outbreak of Yellow Fever in southern Africa. However it is not just human illnesses we have to worry about when it comes to emerging diseases that could have a major impact on our well-being.
Enter a new virus that affects Tilapia, the fish that is central to fish farming around the world in an industry worth US$7.5 billion, providing a major food source as well as livelihood for people. Scientists have recently identified a previously unknown virus that has caused major die-offs of Tilapia on farms in widely separated countries – Israel in the Middle East and Ecuador and Colombia in South America. It has been called the Tilapia Lake Virus or TiLV.
TiLV seems to affect multiple systems in the fish, with some showing swelling of the brain and others showing liver disease. From the scientific studies done, it seems to bear a close relationship to the influenza viruses. Efforts are underway to develop diagnostic tests, control measures and a vaccine.
TiLV does pose a threat to the Caribbean region and Dr. Carla Phillips, aquatic and marine specialist at the UWI School of Veterinary Medicine in Trinidad, is very concerned. “We should therefore be aware and vigilant as a region and promptly report any clinical signs - (eye) abnormalities, skin lesions, ulcers/erosions, unusual spikes in mortality - to the Veterinary Services and, if available, the Aquaculture Extension service providers in our islands.”
TiLV is just one of the disease threats to animal health that, while it does not affect humans directly, can have a huge economic and food security impact – a major One Health issue. We know our veterinary services are paying close attention and the regulation of imports is strictly controlled.
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UWI-SVM Class of 2020 gets Government funding for full 5 years
April 6, 2016: First year Jamaican veterinary medical students at the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine in Trinidad received very good news this week that the Government of Jamaica had decided to contunue to fund their tuition for the remainder of their academic programme. They graduate in 2020.
In early 2015, a Cabinet decision led to the discontinuation of the 85% subsidy given by the Ministry of Education & Youth for new dental and veterinary students attending their respective programmes in the UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences at St. Augustine as of the 2015-16 academic year. This was not communicated to the newly accepted applicants until they had gone to the school to matriculate. Following reports in the news media and a meeting with Executive members of the JVMA, the Ministry opted to fund the six veterinary students for one year, pending a further Cabinet submission on the students' behalf.
The decision to continue the tuition subsidy for their entire programme will enable the students to continue through to graduation, but with conditions. The following was the communication received by e-mail from the Ministry:
"The Government of Jamaica will commit to make payment for the present cohorts who were recruited prior to and in the academic year 2015/16 to the conclusion of their programme. However, the cost for reexamination of any subject/course due to failure or negligence will be the responsibility of the student. A progress report will be required for each student at the end of each semester".
The stipulation regarding examination re-sit costs, repeating of years and the progress report requirement would be applied to all students in years 1 through 5.
The JVMA plans to engage in further talks with the Ministry with regards to the future training of veterinarians, as the removal of the subsidy would apparently still be applied for new students enrolling in the 2016-17 academic year.
UWI School of Veterinary Medicine, Administration building, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mount Hope, Trinidad. Photo courtesy of Briana Schwapp.
Jamaican First Year students, UWI- L-R: Briana Schwapp, Lydia Hutchinson, Racquel Oakley, Szarianne Khan and Brandon Clarke. Missing from photo- Steffony Green. Photo courtesy of Briana Schwapp
JVMA General Meeting, March 20, 2016
Lupo Distributors sponsored the March 2016 JVMA General Meeting. L-R Mr. Billy Lanigan, Sales Manager, Lupo, Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle, JVMA Secretary, Mr. Andrew Todd, Director, Lupo Distributors, Dr. Kevin Walker, JVMA President.
The March General Meeting of the JVMA took place on March 20, 2016 at the Caymanas Golf & Country Club in St. Catherine. Attended by about 50 veterinarians - more than half of the resident vets in the island - the meeting was sponsored by Lupo Distributors, importers of quality dog foods of the Nutram, Pet Time, and Canil brands.
Attendees were treated to a presentation on Nutram foods as well as packages of samples. Continuing Professional Development content came in the form of two presentations: Dr. John Josephs presented a case report on Heartworm Disease in cats (see "Disease of the Week" below), and Dr, Audrie McNab spoke on the Influenza Virus with a focus on the current strain of H1N1 and the incorrect tendency to label it "swine flu".
Four new members, all 2015 graduates of the UWI-School of Veterinary Medicine in Trinidad, were welcomed. They were Drs. Kashena McCarthy, Oshane McHugh, Calvern Thomas and Melisa Thompson. All have been registered by the Jamaica Veterinary Board.
JVMA members at the March 2016 General Meeting. Photo courtesy of Dr. Kevin Walker.
Dr/ John Josephs speaks on Feline Heartworm Disease. Photo courtesy of Dr. Kevin Walker.
Jamaica Veterinary Board Team visits UWI-School of Veterinary Medicine
Jamaican UWI-SVM students pose with the JVB team. 28 of the 35 students enrolled in the DVM programme attended the evening meeting.
Representatives of the Jamaica Veterinary Board paid a visit to the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine, located at the Mount Hope sub-campus of UWI-St. Augustine in Trinidad on February 18 and 19, 2016. The team consisted of Board members Dr. Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle and Dr. Audrie McNab along with JVB Examiations Committee chairman Dr. Paul Cadogan. They engaged in discussions with the school's faculty, toured the facilities and met with Jamaican students enrolled in the programme.
The team was welcomed by the school's director Professor Bhakthavatsalam Manohar, and met with many faculty members and staff, including Professor Abiodun Adesiyun, former Director who had returned to the school after going on sabbatical.
The discussions covered the admissions process, the curriculum, research, continuing education, and provided feedback to the school on the performance of its graduates in Jamaica over the years. The visitors were able to meet the staff and see the new facilities at the school, including an improved equine operating theatre and recovery room, new laboratories and lecture rooms. It was agreed that collaboration between the SVM and the Jamaican veterinary community would be strengthened.
There were two informal lunchtime meetings with some of the 35 Jamaican students and an evening meeting at which Dr. Cadogan gave a presentation on the National Examination for the Registration of Veterinarians (NERV) and there was a discussion of the status of the JVMA's engaging with the Ministry of Education regarding the discontinuation funding of tuition for new students. A lively discussion followed in which the team encouraged the students to interact more with vets at home, including forming a student chapter of the JVMA.
The team, two of whom are Executive members of the JVMA, was taken out to dinner by members of the Executive of the Trinidad & Tobago Veterinary Association(TTVA) which, apart from generating great camaraderie, served to strengthen the relationship between the two Caribbean associations.
The visit came on the heels of a site visit at the SVM by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP), as part of the current accreditation exercise for the school. The last accreditation exercise took place in 2009.
Dr. Paul Cadogan and Dr. Sarah Eytle (L & R center) sit with Jamaican veterinary students.
In responding to disasters, whether natural or man-made, most of the emphasis has naturally been placed on the alleviation of human loss and suffering. The internationally accepted standards and guidelines for such activities are found in the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response - also called SPHERE - handbook. A significant part of the potential losses and recovery needs in disasters is the livestock sector, seen both from the standpoint of animal welfare AND the role of livestock in the livelihoods of the people affected.
Enter LEGS - the Livestock Emergency Guidelines & Standards - a set of international guidelines and standards for designing, implementing and evaluation livestock interventions to help people affected by humanitarian crises - designed to be complementary to SPHERE.
The objectives of LEGS are (i) to provide rapid assistance, (ii) to protect livestock assets and (iii) to rebuild livestock assets using two key strategies of identifying the most appropriate interventions needed in an emergency and providing the standards, key actions and guidance notes for these interventions. These are detailed in the LEGS handbook, the second edition of which has recently been released.
LEGS training is being implemented worldwide through workshops led by certified LEGS trainers who attended "Training the Trainers" workshops held in various regions of the world. Jamaica's certified trainers are Dr. Suzan McLennon-Miguel of the Veterinary Services Division, Dr. Dailion Robinson-White of RADA, Mr. Delroy Manya, retired VSD Animal Health Technician, and Mr. Dwight Williams of the Ministry of Agriculture, Bodles. They have, thus far, held two training sessions here, in September and October 2015 respectively, for persons involved in the livestock sector and/or disaster management.
The National Animal Identification & Traceability System
Dr. Ikolyn Ricketts of the VSD discusses the NAITS with veterinarians at the meeting hosted by the Veterinary Services Division
December 14, 2014
The Veterinary Services Division (VSD) will be undertaking a major national project with the implementation of the National Animal Identification and Traceability System (NAITS) with the ultimate goal of establishing a system to identify and trace the origins of all food-producing animals in Jamaica. The programme and its associated policies and protocols were outlined to veterinarians by NAITS Team Leader Dr. Ikolyn Ricketts at a meeting hosted by the VSD at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Sunday December 14, 2014.
NAITS will be first implemented for the island's cattle population and will involve the use of coded ear tags with individual animal passports which will stay with an animal for its lifetime. The tags are specialized to allow the collection of tissue samples when they are inserted, allowing for the development of a DNA database of the population as part of the overall computerized national records. The system is designed to allow for expansion of its procedures and protocols in the future, based on needs.
VSD personnel, supported by the field staff of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) will be involved in the tagging process anfd farmer mobilization. A mobile squeeze will be used for the restraint of fractious animals. Tagging will be carried out on a parish by parish basis until the entire island is covered.
All farmers, regardless of number of animals owned, will be required to participate under the new Regulations being implemented under the Animal (Diseases & Importation) Act. Other stakeholders and participants will be the operators of abattoirs/slaughterhouses, livestock markets and showgrounds, public health inspectors and the police. Veterinarians and Public Health Inspectors will be involved in the certification of the death of an animal on farm or at slaughter respectively.
There will be no cost to the farmer in the first phase of the programme, but eventually, by year 3 or 4, it is envisaged that the farmer will bear the cost of the tagging.
NAITS is a necessary step to bring Jamaica in line with international best practice standards for traceability of food products from the farm to the fork. Once tagging is complete, an additional spin-off will be some level of protection from praedial larceny by making it much more difficult for stolen animals to be used for meat, since such animals cannot enter the slaughter and meat inspection process without the necessary documentation. The DNA samples collected during tagging may also aid in this.
Dr. Ricketts' presentation sparked lively discussion among the JVMA members present. Mrs. Claudette Phipps, though recently retired from her position at the VSD, was present and outlined the communications activities that will be utilized the get the NAITS message out to the public at large.
POSITION PAPER ON ANIMAL WELFARE - CLICK ON LOGO ABOVE
WEEKLY DISEASE REPORT. Please click on the logo above to check on important infectious diseases occurring around the world
POSITION PAPER ON ONE HEALTH - CLICK ON LOGO ABOVE
TRIBUTE TO A DOG
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near to his master's side.
He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world . He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he was a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains.
When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey thru the heavens.
GEORGE VEST, 1870
Writer's Credit:Unless otherwise stated, all articles on this page are written by Dr. Paul Cadogan.
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