Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 08, 2014 (SKNIS): “One Health, One Caribbean, One Love” an initiative designed to impact the agriculture, public health and environment sectors, is one of the newest projects in which St Kitts-Nevis is becoming involved.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Marine Resources and Cooperatives Ashton Stanley, will represent the Federation and serve on a steering committee that will initially meet in Trinidad, in May, 2014.
Stanley said the project “will look at promoting, establishing and strengthening a “One Health” approach to zoonotic or contagious diseases spread between animals and humans, as well as the observation, diagnosis and response to food-borne diseases.”
“One Health, One Caribbean, One Love” will target Governmental and non-Governmental veterinarians, public health and environmental services and government diagnostic laboratories. However, the final beneficiaries include Caribbean public/consumers as well as Caribbean livestock producers.
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) in collaboration with the European Union Cooperation Program in Science and Technology are the contracting authorities providing an estimated contribution of €1,164,424.
The ACP expects that out of this initiative a Caribbean network of One Health leaders will be formed in addition to improving collaborative efforts between medical, veterinarian, environmental and wildlife professionals. Strategic plans include strengthening a Caribbean network of veterinary diagnostic labs, increased lab capabilities to diagnose foreign and endemic or widespread animal and zoonotic diseases as well as enhanced accuracy of diagnostic test results.
At the end of the project, One Health would have achieved several goals including the exchange of information and best practices with African One Health Network, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO) and the introduction of new lab techniques and technologies to veterinary diagnostic labs, promotion of quality assurance and inter-lab comparison tests to enable international accreditation
The project which is expected to last for three (3) years was launched Saturday (March 01) and aims to increase food security, animal health and production in Caribbean countries.
Other countries participating in the “One Health, One Caribbean, One Love” initiative include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.