“One Health! What is that?”
I was asked this by a bemused Canadian Immigration officer when I travelled to a One Health Congress in Saskatoon a few years ago. I am not sure what he was expecting my reaction to be, but it probably wasn’t a look of delight at the chance to be able to explain the concept of One Health to someone…he most likely learned a lot more about One Health than he bargained for over the next few days as delegates flew in for the conference.
One Health is still a relatively new concept and yet it has made big leaps forward in the public conscience since my encounter above. And this is largely due to promotion by One Health ‘Champions’ or ‘Ambassadors’ such as Filipe – even if they don’t consider themselves as such.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association gives the prestigious One Health Award to individuals and organizations that promote One Health in relation to companions animals. Filipe is recognised for his work in promoting control measures such as vaccination and repellents as the best approach to dealing with canine leishmaniasis. Filipe and colleagues published a consensus paper in Emerging Infectious Diseases outlining the futility of culling dogs in order to control visceral leishmaniasis.
His work has had a real world impact on the lives of dogs and their owners.
“I am thrilled to receive this prestigious award from the WSAVA One Health Committee,” Dr Dantas-Torres said. “It recognises the efforts of many people I have had the pleasure to work with. I dedicate this award to pet owners who lost their dogs during the visceral leishmaniasis control program in Brazil and other endemic countries.”
Filipe will be presented with the award at the WSAVA World Congress (29-31 October in Lima, Peru) where he will be presenting a lecture entitled: ‘Challenges and opportunities for tackling companion vector-borne diseases in Latin America.’
For more information about One Health and what you can do to promote it, the One Health Initiative and the One Health Commission publish regular blogs and news. One Health Day – November 3rd – will see many organisations hosting articles and events to promote One Health. Look out for how you can get involved, or even how your work is already promoting One Health in some way…may be you are already a One Health Champion without even realising it!