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World Veterinary Day Award 2016 goes to….

On 22nd May 2016, during the 84th OIE General Assembly, the WVA president, Dr René Carlson presented the 2016 World Veterinary Day Award to Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association.

World Veterinary Day is observed each year on the last Saturday in April to recognize the work of veterinarians around the world for their contributions to the health and well-being of animals and society.

The World Veterinary Association (WVA) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) organize the World Veterinary Day Award to reward the most successful contribution by the veterinary profession on the selected annual theme. For 2016 that theme was “Continuing Education with a One Health focus”.

This year World Veterinary Day recognized not only the veterinary profession, but also the importance of lifelong learning through Continuing Education, and specifically on the One Health concept and One Health approach to any number of global challenges.

This year there were 25 nominated projects which encompassed many excellent entries making this year’s decision all the more difficult yet especially deserving. The winner was selected according to the quality of the project and related activities, the ability to raise awareness on the topic through communication materials and media coverage in their country, and their capacity to demonstrate a concrete implementation of the ‘One health’ approach.

This year’s recipient of the World Veterinary Day Award is Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association.  JVMA organized several activities around three major topics, which were attended by participants throughout the West Indies network of Caribbean countries.  These three activities included:

•       A One Health Symposium

•       An Antimicrobial Resistance Symposium, and

•      A One Health workshop, which was part of a 2-year One Health Leadership Series organized by the “One Health, One Caribbean, One Love” project. This project is led by the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and is funded by the European Union (ACP), with co-funding for the One Health Leadership series from IICA-SPS.

This One Health Leadership series involves several veterinarians including the project leader from the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine, the Sub-regional Advisor on Veterinary Public Health from PAHO/WHO, the Livestock Development Officer from the FAO, the project manager from the University of the West Indies, and the Executive Director of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative. The leadership facilitator is a physician who is the CEO of the Florida Institute for Health Innovation. Two members of the JVMA are participating in the Leadership series.

The One Health Leadership Series is composed of 5 modules organized from November 2014 to December 2016.  This 2-year program includes 32 participants from 13 countries representing government veterinarians, members of the public health sector (including medical doctors, public health inspectors, a nutritionist and a medical social worker), the environmental sector, and the agricultural crop sector.  The five modules covered:

  • An Introduction to One Health, held in Tobago

  • Interconnectivity for Food Safety and Food Security, held in Jamaica

  • Environment and Health, held in Guyana

  • Society and Health to be held in Grenada next month, and

  • The Way Forward for One Health in the Caribbean, scheduled for Trinidad this coming December.

All of these events were highly publicized in a variety of media channels and they provided several documents and photographs in a highly professional manner in their application.

In the above picture, Dr Carlson, WVA President presents to the President of JVMA, Dr. Kevin Walker, the 2016 World Veterinary Day Trophy and the 1000 USD prize for the Jamaica Veterinary Medical Association.