One Health working will improve health and well-being of us all: plant, animal, human and ecosystem!

For One Health Day November 3, 2016, CABI editor Wendie Norris blogs about "One Health beyond early detection and control of zoonoses" an RSTMH 2016 talk by CABI author Esther Schellling (Swiss Tropical Public Health). Describing research projects on nomadic pastoralists in Chad and Rift Valley Fever (RVF) control in Kenya, Esther drew attention to the need for interdisciplinary studies to include an evaluation of One Health working, involvement of social scientists, engagement of key stakeholders. Tellingly she provided a cost-benefit analysis to society of controlling zoonoses when the disease is in its animal host before it infects human beings.
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Excessive use of antimicrobials in intensive livestock farming as One Health issue

Most antibiotics in livestock farming are used in aquaculture, but significant amounts are also used in terrestrial livestock species, particularly in poultry and pigs. Approximately 70% of antibiotics are used for non-therapeutic purposes, i.e. many antibiotics are used in sub-therapeutic doses and over prolonged periods, which leads to the development of genes that confer antimicrobial resistance to animal pathogens. These genes can subsequently be transferred to human pathogens and it is estimated that 75% of recently emerging diseases in humans are of animal origin. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) problems are further exacerbated by the fact that antibiotic resistance genes were found in bacteria long before antibiotics were ever used on super-pathogens in farm animals. AMR is a worldwide problem, which clearly affects both animal and human health, and hence it is truly One Health issue.
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Different explanations of mental illness in Jamaica: can we combine the traditional and biomedical to heal body and spirit?

  Gordon Town Health Centre, Kingston, Jamaica. Image: H. Schwartz Today is World Mental Health Day [October 10th 2016], whose theme is "psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in distress". An apt moment to publish the insights into Jamaican community mental health of our summer intern, Harpur Schwartz. In her…
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Why Latin America is nearer elimination of rabies than Africa

Latin America is doing far better at controlling and ultimately eliminating rabies from the region than Africa. Latin America uses dog vaccination; Africa relies on post-exposure prophylaxis. Can the lessons learned in Latin America be applied or adapted to Africa? At RSTMH “Challenges in Disease Elimination”, [September 12-16th, 2016], Dr Katie Hampson described the PAHO surveillance & management framework operating in Mexico and Brazil, devised to support the elimination of rabies in 25 PAHO countries, which could be adapted. Tanzanian researchers have developed a targeted surveillance system to improve case detection for the African setting where resources are constrained.
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Stepping out in the countryside – how much is it worth?

  Staff at the CABI HQ in Wallingford this week are making an extra effort to get up from their desks to walk around the building, and the surrounding paths and lanes may be seeing more groups of people than usual out for lunchtime walks. This is all down to a ‘wellness’ campaign in which…
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One hours exercise offsets the effects of sedentary days

A meta-analysis of studies covering over 1 million people finds that doing at least one hour of physical activity per day, such as brisk walking or cycling for pleasure, may eliminate the increased risk of death associated with sitting for 8h a day. The findings come in one of the papers in a special series…
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The recognition of Mycetoma: much needed attention finally given to long neglected tropical disease (NTD)

In May 2016 at the 69th World Health Assembly, mycetoma was added to the World Health Organization's list of neglected tropical diseases. I did not know that mycetoma is a destructive fungal (eumycetoma) or bacterial infection (actinomycetes) of the foot that results in disfigurement and social stigma, and is linked to poverty. I did not know there was a mycetoma belt with most cases reported from India, Mexico, Sudan, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Somalia and Yemen. If mycetoma was unfamiliar to me, how many other people had never heard of this disease?
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Blood donation in post-Ebola West Africa

Copyright: James Meiring. Winner HIFA Photography award 2016 What do wellington boots drying in the African sun have to do with blood donation in the post-Ebola era? Tell you later. But first, as its World Blood Donor Day on June 14th, lets consider the differences between the blood transfusion services in a high income country like the…
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Finding a balance between equality and safety in blood donation: the 12 month ban for MSM donors

World Blood Donor Day 2016 uses the theme “Blood connects us all” to motivate new blood donors to come forward and encourage regulars to continue to give blood. Donors must meet certain rules in order to provide safe blood. Gay and bisexual men (LGBTQ) used to face a lifetime ban, but now can donate blood if they have not had sex with another man for at least 12 months. Now, the 12 month rule is under fire in the wake of the Orlando shooting. Is this discrimination due to association with HIV/AIDS, or is the policy based on sound evidence?
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Malaria control, disasters and conflict

WHO European Region announced last week that Europe is now malaria free. This is great news to coincide with World Malaria Day this year. The challenge is to make sure Europe remains free of malaria into the future. Europe has been declared malaria free before, back in 1975. What happened to allow it to return?
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