One Health: free online course from FutureLearn features CABI authors

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One Health is about connectedness: "the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, plants and our environment”.

On One Health Day, November 3rd 2016, CABI's editors held a One Health (#OneHealth) Blogathon to focus attention, contributing a total of 6 blogs to Handpicked… and Carefully Sorted, each written from the viewpoint of a different sector.   Our Plantwise Blog contributed One Health: Plantwise’s ambition to improve the health of people, plants and animals.

We hope you found them informative but your learning need not be confined to our blogs!

Sign up to a free online One Health course from FutureLearn: starts November 7th 2016, runs for 6 weeks. Lecturers are the CABI authors Esther Schelling,  Jakob Zinsstag and Bassirou Bonfoh of Swiss Tropical & Public Health Institute.

Esther, Jakob  and Bassirou are all authors of chapters in CABI’s  book One Health: The Theory and Practice of Integrated Health Approaches [2015].  Indeed Esther and Jakob are also co-editors.

FutureLearn  courses are easy to follow and well-paced: you get one unit per week.  I speak from experience as because of my interest in evidence-based medicine, in October 2015, I took "Informed Health Consumer: Making Sense of Evidence". 

I hope you can make use of this One Health course.

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Prove it! Evidence based health blogs.

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

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    Pastoralists, Mongolia. Image courtesy of Esther Schelling, Swiss TPH.

 One of a series of blogs written by CABI editors for One Health Day on November 3rd 2016
 
It's always nice to meet up with a CABI author at a conference especially when they are giving a talk around a theme dear to CABI‘s heart,  namely “One Health”: the concept of working across the interface of animal, plant, human  and environment  to achieve health  & development  which is sustainable and fair. CABI has been gathering, managing and generating research information across all these sectors since 1912.  We know “its all connected”.

The conference was the RSTMH biennial meeting [Cambridge UK, Sept 12-16th, 2016], and the author in question, Esther Schelling, co-editor  of CABI’s  book One Health: The Theory and Practice of Integrated Health Approaches [2015].    To read a  free e-chapter, use this link.

In One Health beyond early detection and control of zoonoses Esther talked about her long-time project with nomadic pastoralists in Chad and a rift valley fever (RVF) control project in Kenya.  She drew attention to the need for:

  • more interdisciplinary studies to include an evaluation of One Health working
  • involvement of social scientists
  • engagement of key stakeholders

And 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. 

Those cost-benefit analyses made a deep impression on the delegates, many of whom were involved in zoonotic neglected tropical diseases. Perhaps for the first time they were appreciating the added benefits and synergies that a transdisciplinary approach between science, society, humanities and medicine could bring.

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Malaria control, disasters and conflict

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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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How effective are current measures for protecting horses from African Horse Sickness?

By Miroslav Djuric, DVM, CAB International, Wallingford, UK.

African horse sickness is a serious and often fatal disease of horses, mules and donkeys caused by African horse sickness virus (AHSV), of the genus Orbivirus in the family Reoviridae. It can also affect zebras, camels and dogs, but not humans. Zebras and donkeys rarely develop serious disease.

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The virus is spread by infected insects (mosquitoes and biting midges) and causes fever, heart and respiratory problems in affected animals.  Death is common and can occur suddenly.

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African Swine Fever on the Move – China, the EU and FAO Assessing Preparedness in East and Southeast Asia, the Region with >50% of the World Pig Population

By M Djuric, DVM

African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to spread in traditionally endemic sub-Saharan Africa, but it is also expanding into previously ASF-free countries with a new front opening up along the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.

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The risk of ASF entering China is of particular concern since the country keeps almost half of the worldwide pig population. China is also the biggest importer of pork and has very strong links with ASF-infected countries in Africa. China also shares a border with the ASF-endemic Russian Federation.

China and Asia in general have never encountered ASF, and therefore there is a concern that the region may be unprepared for a potential outbreak of ASF, which could have catastrophic consequences on global pork supply.

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To build ASF preparedness and to address the policy gaps, the European Union (EU) -funded LinkTADs research consortium brought together 40 experts from the EU and Asia for the “African Swine Fever Policy Event” in Beijing on 24 November 2014.

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Can We Strike Back Against Dengue?

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness and, sometimes causing a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. The incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years. The latest estimates suggest that up to 400 million infections occur annually in over 100 endemic countries, putting half of the world’s population at risk. Dengue flourishes in urban poor areas, suburbs and the countryside but also affects more affluent neighbourhoods in tropical and subtropical countries. But can dengue be brought under control?

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Image courtesy of ProjectManhattan

“Mosquito control, the only option available for dengue control, has failed,” says Duane Gubler, Professor and Founding Director of the Signature Research Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore. in a CAB Reviews Mini Review. However, he says new and innovative tools in the pipeline may provide the opportunity to rollback this disease.

The release of sterile male mosquitos, or mosquitoes infected with a common bacteria, Wolbachia, have the potential to limit the spread of infection, and field trials of both have been encouraging. There are new insecticides and antiviral drugs in the pipeline, and six vaccines are in clinical trials, three of which may be licensed by 2018-2019.The full text of the mini review “Is it time to rollback dengue?CAB Reviews 2014 9, 029, can be accessed free of charge by clicking on the title.

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Duane Gubler is one of the editors of “Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever”, newly published by CABI. This 29-chapter book brings together leading research and clinical scientists to review dengue virus biology, epidemiology, entomology, therapeutics, vaccinology and clinical management. For more details about the book, go to: http://www.cabi.org/bookshop/book/9781845939649

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Targeted for Eradication

By Miroslav Djuric, DVM

Following the successful eradication of Rinderpest (Cattle plague, see blog), veterinarians, farmers and donors across the World are turning their focus to combat Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) on a global scale. The FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have developed a detailed strategy for FMD control under the umbrella of their Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs). However, it is clear that only a massive commitment of national and international resources can make FMD eradication possible, as surveillance and monitoring over a long period is required.

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FMD is a highly infectious disease caused by a picornavirus, which affects cloven-hoofed animals, in particular cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and deer. Other animals including camelids and elephants can also be affected. The disease is notifiable, which means that the local veterinary services must be notified immediately if FMD is suspected.Although FMD does not pose a direct threat to human health, and is rarely fatal in animals, it can cause reduced milk yield, weight loss and lower fertility.

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