Join us as we learn together how this growing global movement in which a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach, involving human and veterinary medical and environmental professionals is utilized in tackling health issues.
Participate in the discussion on how everything from the impacts of climate change, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, food safety and security to comparative and translational medicine which falls under the One Health umbrella affect our everyday professional lives.
Let us together develop strategies of collaboration and exchange so that we in Jamaica can more effectively address the health of our people, animals and our natural environment.
CLICK THE LOGO ABOVE FOR THE OIE'S PRESS RELEASE ON WORLD VETERINARY DAY 2016
In celebration of World Veterinary Day 2016(Click logo to the left for OIE's Press Release), under the theme “Continuing Education with a One Health Focus”, the JVMA and the One Health, One Caribbean, One Love (OHOCOL) project are holding a One Health Symposium on May 1st. The event, which is the first of its kind in Jamaica, will take place at the Law Faculty Lecture Theatre 2 on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies.
It is 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 – fitting with the World Veterinary Day theme.
One Health One Caribbean One Love Project
OHOCOL is being implemented in the region by the University of the West Indies in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the Ministries of Agriculture of Grenada, Guyana and St. Kitts & Nevis with funding from the European Union (EU), through the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
It involves a Leadership Series in which a number of professionals from various disciplines are undergoing training to build One Health in their respective countries and create a regional network. Each country team is responsible to carry out a small scale project at home. Jamaica’s project is one that deals with river health in a small rural community.
Other OHOCOL activities include the training of first responders in disease recognition and response, and the strengthening of veterinary laboratory diagnostic services in the region.
The Symposium features international and local speakers covering a variety of topics which fall under the One Health umbrella. The international facilitators are Professor Craig Stephen, a Canadian veterinarian with vast experience in the One Health arena, and Professor Chris Oura, veterinary virologist from the UWI School of Veterinary Medicine and OHOCOL project leader. Local presenters include Professor Elizabeth Thomas-HopeC.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. Dr. Sonia Copeland of the Ministry of Health will speak on the Zika virus. Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton is being represented by Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Winston De La Haye.
It is hoped that this will be the first of many such collaborative ventures, especially now that the international One Health Commission has declared November 3, 2016 as One Health Day, which will henceforth be an annual event.
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.
DISEASE OF THE WEEK
FELINE DIROFILARIASIS - Heartworm in Cats
Photo courtesy of Dr. Robert Wan
The Canine Heartworm, Dirofilaria immitis, is a nematode worm of the super-family Filaroidea, that is known for causing an often debilitating and fatal infestation in dogs. Spread by mosquitoes which deposit infective L3 larvae when they feed, the worms undergo a 6-month migratory development phase at the end of which they emerge as adults in the right ventricle of the heart and the pulmonary artery which carries blood to the lungs.
Adults, which are male and female, produce microfilaria – microscopic “babies” that circulate in the blood and are picked up by feeding mosquitoes to start the cycle again. Depending on the number of adult worms present, the dog may be asymptomatic or may develop progressive illness, with clinical signs such as a chronic cough, weight loss, exercise intolerance, fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites) ultimately leading to death.
It is treated using a specific drug, melarsomine, to kill the adults, followed by a long recuperative phase to allow the immune system to break down and eliminate their remains. Prevention is accomplished by the regular use of ivermectin or related drugs to eliminate the developmental stages before the adult stage is reached. Ivermectin is NOT effective against the adults.
But what of cats? Cats are infected with L3 larvae by mosquito bites as well, and these do undergo migration as occurs in dogs. Some may survive long enough to end up in the lungs causing Heartworm-Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD) in which the cat may show a chronic cough, wheezing or difficulty breathing. Others may achieve adulthood, emerging in the heart and pulmonary artery as happens in dogs. Affected cats may show similar clinical signs to dogs, but also may show vomiting and breathing difficulties. In some cases, the only sign is sudden death.
Cats with heartworm disease involving adult worms in the heart cannot be treated with melarsomine. It is fatally toxic to them. At this time, surgical removal of the worms is the main option and is not a simple procedure.
Cats in heartworm-endemic areas therefore need to be kept on monthly ivermectin prevention.
For a report on a case of Feline Heartworm Disease in Jamaica, which includes more details, please click HERE. Thanks to Dr. John Josephs of Noah’s Ark Veterinary Centre.
Heartworm can affect HUMANS too.
For information on Heartworm in HUMANS, please click HERE.
Heartworms removed from the heart of a cat that died suddenly. Photo courtesy of Dr. John Josephs.
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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