One Health Congress 2011
The first International One Health Congress took place this year in Melbourne on February 14-16th.
“For the past few years, the One Health concept has brought together experts working in the areas of animal and human disease. This Congress will focus on the risks and challenges brought about by the interactions between animal and human health and the environment”.
Nobel laureate Dr Peter Doherty – the first person with a veterinary qualification to receive a Nobel prize – gave the opening keynote speech and discussed how the One Health principle is actually a very ancient concept that has been resurrected and embraced by current scientific experts who recognize that the health of humans, other animals and the environment are intimately linked.
“The vision of the Congress is that a global consideration of interrelated issues of animal and human health and the relationship with the environment can take the science to the policy maker and thus drive real and profound change”.
Vets Beyond Borders was represented at the Congress by Helen Byrnes who gave a presentation on the SARAH programme entitled “a local solution in a small state of India”. Ruth Pye talked about VBB’s work in India in a joint presentation “Managing the ecological and human health impacts of dogs: a global issue with local solutions” with AMRRIC vets Sophie Constable and Felicity Smout.
Very interesting presentations were given covering topics such as emerging infectious diseases, climate change, and food security and safety. The morning session on “Rabies in Bali” where Dr Helen Scott-Orr explained the initial response to the 2008 outbreak and the subsequent development of an “integrated multi-agency funded response to rabies in Bali” struck a chord with those of us who have worked in India. It seems government bureaucracies and timely release of funds can hinder even emergency situations, let alone the practicalities of catching wiley street dogs to vaccinate them.
The entire scientific programme and most of the presentations will be available on http://www.onehealth2011.com.