Welcome to the official web site of the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association, a professional organization representing veterinarians across Jamaica. We invite you to explore the site and see for yourself who we are and why we do what we do.
Second Module of Caribbean One Health Leadership Series in Jamaica - June 23 -26
The seond module of the One Health, One Caribbean One Love (OHOCOL) Leadership Series takes place at the Cardiff Hotel in Runaway Bay, St. Ann from June 23 - 26, 2015. The first took place in Tobago in November of last year. The Leadership Series is part of the EU/ACP-funded Caribbean One Health project and is designed to create a network of One Health Leaders drawn mainly from the human health, animal health and environmental professional sectors in order to facilitate an integrated approach to health issues, food safety and security, and social and environmental well-being. Each particpating country's team of Leaders will be expected to implement a small scale One Health project in their country during the four-module programme.
The specific theme of Module 2 will be "Interconnectivity for food safety and security". Apart from theme related content, the module will include leadership training, including the use of personality assessments in team building and functioning, and the application of results-based accountability in tackling societal issues.
The opening ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 23, and will feature Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, Deputy Principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona, giving the feature address. Recording artiste Bay-C of the group T.O.K. will be the featured performer. Bay-C is the Celebrity Patron of the One Health Jamaica team for their country project, River's Edge Farming in the Maroon community of Scotts Hall, St. Mary, that will be implemented in the coming year.
One Health Jamaica team members are Environmental Scientist Dr. Chandra Degia, Public Health Inspector Ms. Dahlia Plunkett and Veterinarians Dr. Rayon Gregory and Dr. Paul Cadogan.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - SUNDAY MAY 31, 2015
The 2015 Annual General Meeting of the JVMA took place as planned on the above date. In the Election of Officers, Dr. Kevin Walker was returned as President for a second term, while Dr. Nigel Elliott was elected Vice President replacing Dr. John Josephs who had completed three consecutive years in that position - the maximum permitted under the JVMA's Constitution. For the full 2015-2016 Executive, please click here or select "The Executive" under "General Information" in the drop-down menu above.
Professor John Lindo of the Department of Microbiology at the University Hospital gave a presentation on Cryptospridiosis and Giardiasis, focusing on their zoonotic characteristics and potential. Preliminary results of research into the prevalence and zoonotic potential of Giardia in Jamaica were presented.
Drs. Rayon Gregory and Patrick Craig gave a joint presentation on Classical Swine Fever, covering the need for and the process involved in surveillance and reviewing the features of the disease.(See Disease of the Week below)
The presentations were awarded 1 CVME credit each.
WORLD VETERINARY DAY 2015
World Veterinary Day 2015 was observed worldwide on Saturday, April 25, 2015 under the theme: “Vector-borne Diseases with Zoonotic Potential”. World Veterinary Day is an annual event scheduled on the last Saturday in April by the World Veterinary Association (WVA).
Vector-borne diseases are those that are transmitted between their human or animal hosts by another living organism, usually an arthropod such as a mosquito, fly, flea or tick. The most striking example of such a disease in Jamaica at this time is Chikungunya, transmitted by Aedes aegypti and albopictus mosquitoes.
Many vector-borne diseases around the world are zoonotic, meaning they infect both animals and humans. Some can be very debilitating or even deadly. The JVMA's World Veterinary Day Gleaner Supplement, which will seek to educate the public on the vector-borne zoonotic diseases that occur locally and around the world, was published on Sunday, April 26th, 2015.
We wish to thank all our advertisers for their support, all our article and message writers and photographers for their contributions!
CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR WORLD VETERINARY DAY 2015 PAGE AND READ THE ARTICLES IN THE SUPPLEMENT.
DISEASE OF THE WEEK
CLASSICAL SWINE FEVER (HOG CHOLERA)
Classical Swine Fever (CSF), also called Hog Cholera, is a viral disease that affects pigs. It occurs in various parts of the world, including the Americas. Our nearest neighbours Cuba and Haiti are endemic for the disease although it is not known to occur in Jamaica.
It is a disease of major international importance and is high on the World Organization for Animal Health's (OIE's) list of reportable diseases. Its occurrence in a country therefore affects that territory's ability to trade in pigs and pig products on the international market.
Jamaica has to carry out surveillance for CSF in order to show that we are free of this disease. Passive surveillance involves the reporting and investigation of suspicious illness in pigs. The disease shares some clinical signs with many other diseases and disorders and so may be difficult to diagnose on simple inspection. These signs include fever, lethargy, reddening of the skin and ears, and in many cases death in younger pigs. Sows may abort their piglets, some of which may be mummified, others may be still-born at full term.
Active surveillance includes targeted or random blood sample collection and testing from the pig population in general, with positive preliminary tests being first confirmed followed by further investigation of an affected herd.
Should CSF be found in Jamaica, our National Emergency Animal Disease plan would be activated and efforts would be made to halt its spread and stamp out the disease. It is important that suspicious cases of illness in pigs be reported to the Veterinary Services Division immediately.
The above summary is based on information presented by Dr. Rayon Gregory.
For a detailed look at the disease itself, please click below:
Dr. Sophia Ramlal is 2014's Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Sophia Ramlal (R) receives the Veterinarian of the Year award from JVMA President Dr. Kevin Walker
December 14, 2014
Dr. Sophia Ramlal, long serving JVMA member and former Executive member (including Treasurer, Vice-President) received a very pleasant surprise at the Association's December General Meeting at the Knutford Court Hotel when she was bestowed with the award of Veterinarian of the Year 2014. She was recognized specifically for her hard work and dedication as Chairperson of the Jamaica Veterinary Board's Continuing Education Assessment Committee (CEAC) in the implementation of the Board's CE requirements for veterinarians registered to practice in Jamaica during the current year.
The Veterinarian of the Year plaque and a trophy were presented by JVMA President Dr. Kevin Walker. The Citation was read by Dr. Robert Thomas, Executive member and Immediate Past President of the Association. Click HERE to read the Citation.
The meeting was hosted by the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries with the central feature being a presesntation by Dr. Ikolyn Ricketts and Mrs. Claudette Phipps to senisitize the veterinary community on the recently launched National Animal Identification & Traceability System (NAITS) (see related story on this page). Dr. Paul Cadogan also gave a presentation on One Health and the recently implemented One Health One Caribbean One Love programme and Leadership Series in which he is one of Jamaica's representatives (see related story on this page).
Members were able to submit their CE documents to the CEAC in preparation for renewal of practising licenses in January 2015. A brief but useful discussion of Matters Arising from the previous general meeting and New Business followed.
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.
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
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
Writer's Credit:Unless otherwise stated, all articles on this page are written by Dr. Paul Cadogan.
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