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.