IFEH/JAPHI One Health Conference, Montego Bay, October 23-25, 2017
Montego Bay, October 25, 2017
The International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) in collaboration with the Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI) held a One Health-themed conference at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in St. James from October 23 - 25, 2017.
A host of international and local speakers and attendees enjoyed a variety of engaging presentations covering the interface of human and animal health and the environment. The sessions fell under the main headings of Chemicals, Occupational Health & Environmental Toxicology, One Health Education and Environmental Health Leadership, Food and Water Safety & Security, Air Quality, Zoonoses and Emegring Diseases.
Veterinarians played a significant role in the proceedings. One of the two keynote addresses was given by Professor Armando Hoet of the Ohio State University's School of Veterinary Medicine entitled "Does the Environment play a role in the spread of multi-drug resistant pathogens? Of Course!". Dr. Matthew Levine, a veterinarian in the United States Army gave a plenary on "Building food protection capability and capacity: A U.S. military approach to health-based partnerships".
Local veterinary speakers were Dr. Rayon Gregory of the Veterinary Services Division and Dr. Paul Cadogan. Dr. Gregory gave a plenary on One Health activities in Jamaica and the role of the VSD. He noted the long history of One Health initiatives here in Jamaica even before the term itself was coined, mentioning the building of veterinary public health in the Ministry of Health by the late Dr. Winston Schloss. Dr. Cadogan gave a presentation on screwworm myiasis which covered the disease in animals and humans.
The organisers expressed their appreciation for the role of the veterinary profession, stating that it was an eye-opener and they looked forward to greater collaboration and closer ties.
Dr. Rayon Gregory speaking at the IFEH/JAPHI One Health Conference
Dr. Paul Cadogan presenting on screwworm myiasis at the IFEH/JAPHI One Health Conference
Jamaican UWI veterinary student receives Scholarship award from the World Veterinary Association & MSD Animal Health
Jamaican veterinary medical student Ms. Steffony Green has been selected by the World Veterinary Association (WVA) and MSD Animal Health to receive of a scholarship of US$5000 to assist with her pursuit of her studies at the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Augustine, Trinidad. She is one of eleven recipients from the Latin American region selected from a field of forty-six applicants.
MSD Animal Health and the WVA announced the 2016 scholarship programme in June of this year and this was circulated to Jamaica’s veterinary students through the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association which is a WVA member association. There were three Jamaican applicants. The scholarship awardees were published on December 6, 2016
Ms. Green, who is a second year student and hails from Portmore, St. Catherine, is particularly interested in small ruminant (sheep and goat) medicine. She looks forward to coming home to make her contribution to the health sector and to becoming a JVMA member.
In 2015, through a Cabinet decision, the Ministry of Education ended its 85% subsidy of the tuition for new Jamaican veterinary students at the UWI-SVM, a subsidy that is still maintained for most tertiary students in Jamaica.
Ms. Green was one of the students who, on enrolling in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine programme in 2015, were caught unaware by the Jamaican Government’s decision. Following public reaction in the local media and discussions betweeen the JVMA and the Ministry of Education, a Cabinet decision was taken to continue the subsidy for this last cohort of students through to their graduation. Each student must meet conditions stipulated by the Ministry to maintain his/her individual funding support. The ending of the subsidy went into effect for the 2016-17 academic year. As a result, the study of veterinary medicine at the University of the West Indies may now be out of reach for many prospective Jamaican students.
For Ms. Green, the scholarship award will assist significantly in covering the many costs associated with the DVM programme that are not covered by the subsidy.
Steffony Green feeds a lamb. She says small ruminants are her favourite.
Professor Abiodun Adesiyun retires from the UWI-SVM
2016 saw the retirement of Professor Abiodun Adesiyun from the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine, St. Augustine, Trinidad, after 26 years of service to that institution. Originally from Nigeria, he joined the SVM on October 30, 1990 and served as Director from 2006 to 2014.
Throughout his tenure on the SVM faculty, Prof. Adesiyun played a major role in the development of the school from its fledgling state to become the premier veterinary institution that it is today. During his time as Director, he oversaw the first accreditation exercise for the school by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) and played a prominent role in the second in early 2016. The school is now accredited to 2020.
Prof’s work in the development of the school, its students and graduates and his outreach to veterinary professionals and associations in the region resulted in him being given a special award for his service to the region, presented at the 2010 Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association Conference held in Jamaica.
A ceremony to mark his retirement from the SVM was held at the school on September 30, 2016. Attended by a host of University and Faculty of Medical Sciences officials, faculty members, staff, and students along with other well-wishers, the event included heartfelt tributes, musical items and a response from Prof. Adesiyun himself.
Prof. Adesiyun developed and maintained a close relationship with the JVMA and, as such, the Association was granted the privilege of sending a video tribute which was played during the event.
Professor Abiodun Adesiyun
Although Prof. Adesiyun has officially retired, he will continue to work with the UWI-SVM for the time being on a contractual basis.
The JVMA salutes Professor Abiodun Adewale Adesiyun and thanks him for his many years of service to the veterinary profession in the Caribbean. We know that his retirement will not mark the end of his work. Wherever he goes, whatever he does, his Caribbean legacy will live on in the many graduates of the UWI-SVM serving in the region and around the world.
For a profile on Prof. Adesiyun please click HERE .
Group photo of attendees at the retirement function for Prof. Adesiyun. Prof, his wife and son are seated at centre. Photo courtesy of Prof. Adesiyun.
2 Veterinarians win Champion Farmer awards at 2016 Denbigh Agricultural Show
Noah, son of Champoin Sheep Farmer Dr. Gabrielle Young, poses with his Mom's trophy at the Denbigh show.
August 29, 2016:
Two veterinarians were named among the Champion Farmers at the recent Denbigh Agricultural Show.
JVMA member Dr. Gabrielle Young was declared Champion Sheep Farmer. She operates a farm in Clarendon that includes sheep, goats and cattle. Dr. Young, who works with the Caribbean Broilers Group, has spearheaded the use of artificial insemination in small ruminants in Jamaica.
Dr. Patrick Graham of St. Catherine was declared Champion Goat Farmer.
The overall National Champion Farmer was Mr. Neville Grant of Hanover.
Congratulations to all the 2016 Champion Farmers!
Disaster Management, Livestock and Livelihoods - L.E.G.S.
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.