One Health Week
29th Oct-2nd Nov 2018
Blog By Elliot Jessamine –
Vet Futures One Health Action Group Member and Vet Student @ Glasgow Vet School.
Video By: Ginnie Baker
Vet Futures One Health Action Group Member and Vet Student @ Edinburgh Vet School.
The One Health initiative was devised to encourage sharing of expertise and information between various professional sectors to achieve better public, animal and environmental health outcomes.
From October 29th – November 2nd Vet schools across the UK will be hosting a ‘One Health Week’, to coincide with One Health day on November 3rd; the aim is to get students everywhere talking about the links between animal, human and environmental health.
To do this, the Vet Futures One Health Action Group will be organising a week of activities including a talk with a One Health theme, a bake sale and a showing of a One Health related film or programme at every Veterinary school in the UK. We will also be launching a nationwide poster design and photo competition for the week. The winning poster will be used to advertise the week across all vet schools in the UK and the winning photo will be announced on the final day.
Veterinary medicine’s overlap is increasing more and more with environmental health as we strive to improve the profession’s impact on the planet; a great example of this is the current drive to reduce plastic from the oceans. Medical practices produce huge amounts of plastic waste with nearly no recycling. People are now looking into various ways to reduce this waste going to landfill and in doing so are aiding efforts to improve the environmental health of the oceans. One company called Sharps Compliance has started recycling syringes into a product called PELLA-DRX, which can be integrated into building materials such as cement, reducing the amount of plastic waste sent to landfill.
This is one of an increasingly broad area of discussion which One Health encompasses. It is critical that our profession addresses environmental health issues more seriously in the future.
Another area of One Health discussion that particularly interests me is animal conservation. A recent campaign in this area is the attempt to further ban the use of certain NSAIDs to treat cattle. Diclofenac is an NSAID that has already been banned in India, Nepal and Pakistan in 2006 (and Bangladesh in 2010) in order to protect vultures. When vultures feed on the carcasses of livestock treated with this drug it has been proven to cause fatal kidney failure. The drug first came into use in the 1990’s and has caused vulture populations of the Indian subcontinent to plummet. For one species (the oriental white-backed vulture) numbers have reduced to one-thousandth of their original level compared to before the drug was introduced.
There is a now an ongoing push to ban similar NSAIDs such aceclofenac (which is metabolised to diclofenac in cattle) as it is still pushing some species of vultures to extinction. Other harmless pharmaceuticals are available already so could replace them.
This is a perfect example of how the health of wildlife can be impacted by the improper long-term testing of pharmaceuticals on wildlife species. Prior to any implementation for veterinary use there is a critical need for further collaboration between sectors, which the One Health initiative promotes.
TheVetService.com is proud to be supporting the Vet Futures One Health Action Group in all their endeavours and to continue the influential work that collaborative medicine can achieve.
If you are interested in helping see details below.
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved with One Health Week and the competitions, please have a look at our Facebook page using the link below:
Or enter the competition by following this link and uploading your Poster Design:
One Health Week Registration Page.
World Health Organization. (2018). One Health. [online] Available at: http://www.who.int/features/qa/one-health/en/ [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018].
Liggett, B. and Liggett, B. (2018). Sharps Compliance Recycles Used Syringes Into Building Materials. [online] Inhabitat.com. Available at: https://inhabitat.com/company-to-recycle-used-syringes-into-building-materials/ [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018].
Ww2.rspb.org.uk. (2018). Cattle metabolise aceclofenac into vulture-killing diclofenac – Saving Species – Our work – The RSPB Community. [online] Available at: https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/biodiversity/archive/2016/03/03/cattle-metabolise-aceclofenac-into-vulture-killing-diclofenac.aspx [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018].