Michael J. Day, BSc, BVMS (Hons), PhD, DSc, DECVP, FASM, FRCPath, FRCVS
The WSAVA One Health Committee (OHC) was established in 2010 with a Phase I project running until 2013. This year the committee has begun its Phase II project, which will run for three years until 2016. This report crosses those phases and reviews the activity of the OHC since the WSAVA Congress in Auckland in early 2013.
The current composition and areas of expertise of the OHC is:
M.J. Day (UK, Chairman) - Pathology & Immunology
S. Cleaveland (UK) - Rabies & Wildlife
C. Khanna (USA) - Comparative Research
M. Lappin (USA) - Feline Zoonoses
C. Rubin (USA) - CDC One Health
U. Karkare (India) - Small Animal Practice
G. Takashima (USA) - Human-Companion Animal Bond
A. Thiermann (France) - Global One Health
W. Eward (USA) - DVM, MD
C. Burrows - WSAVA Board Liaison
E. Breitschwerdt - Zoonoses
T. Kuiken - Influenza, Pathology, Wildlife
The WSAVA OHC mission statement is: To ensure the prominence of the small companion animal-human interface in the global One Health agenda. The committee has three broad areas of activity: (1) the human-companion animal bond, (2) comparative clinical research, and (3) zoonotic infectious disease.
In the area of the human-companion animal bond, the OHC has produced a perspectives manuscript entitled "One Health and the Human-Companion Animal Bond," which has now been submitted for publication. The committee is working on a parallel paper which will describe the importance of comparative clinical research.
The major accomplishments of the OHC over this period have been in the area of zoonotic infectious disease. During this period our 'collar and wristband' campaign as part of the Afya Serengeti Project came to fruition. Purpose-designed WSAVA dog collars (branded 'stoprabies4dog') and wrist bands (branded 'stoprabies4man') were distributed during the annual vaccination campaign in the Serengeti, with the aims of (1) incentivising people (predominantly children) to bring animals for vaccination, and (2) providing a means of identifying vaccinated dogs during the period of the campaign. These aims were achieved and will be discussed elsewhere during this stream.
The OHC and the WSAVA Foundation also provided support for the Mission Rabies Project in India. This remarkable project, led by Luke Gamble of Worldwide Veterinary Services, involved a mass vaccination campaign held in selected areas of India during September 2013, in which over 50,000 dogs were vaccinated against rabies. Between then and March 2014, over 85,000 dogs were vaccinated, over 5,000 dogs were neutered and over 75,000 children received rabies awareness education in schools. A series of surgical training courses for Indian veterinarians were held from the Mission Rabies truck, which is the centrepiece of the programme.
The OHC also supports the new WSAVA Foundation African Small Companion Animal Network (AFSCAN) Project, which was launched in April 2014 and will feature during this Congress. AFSCAN aims to improve practice standards, animal welfare and veterinary education in 13 African countries, with the ultimate aim of those countries being able to form national small animal associations to enable them to become full WSAVA members.
The OHC remains a partner in the EU-funded CALLISTO project - a think tank on companion animal zoonotic diseases. In October 2013, the second annual CALLISTO conference was held in Brussels and the final conference is scheduled for October 2014. Outcomes from CALLISTO may be found on the dedicated website (http://www.callistoproject.eu).
In November 2013, the OHC held a committee meeting at OIE Headquarters in Paris. This immediately preceded a 1.5-day symposium on "Rabies and Other Disease Risks from Free-Roaming Dogs" that was jointly hosted by OIE and WSAVA under the terms of the MOU between the organizations. The meeting was attended by around 60 delegates, including representatives of the major NGOs working in rabies control, several chief veterinary officers from Africa and India, and representatives of industry. The outcome of the meeting was a joint statement on the control of canine rabies that was formally signed by the director general of the OIE, the chair of the WSAVA OHC and acting president of WSAVA. The statement listed seven key recommendations for global rabies elimination and endorsed the goal of achieving global elimination of rabies by 2030. The OHC was also represented at the 82nd General Session of the OIE in Paris in May 2014.
The first meeting of Phase II of the OHC project is to be held at Duke University Medical Centre in June 2014. In October 2014, the OHC Chairman will attend a One Health Conference on antimicrobial resistance in London.
At this Congress, the OHC is presenting the fourth WSAVA Global One Health Award to Professor Lucille Blumberg, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa. During the meeting the committee will also select the winner of the WSAVA One Health Poster/Abstract Prize.
The Committee has ensured that One Health is represented in WSAVA Congress programmes, with a full-day stream on rabies control and community medicine in Africa following this lecture and a stream already planned for the 2015 Congress in Bangkok.
Further information and publications from the One Health Committee may be found on the OHC webpages and the OHC Facebook page.
The work of the OHC would not be possible without the support of our sponsorship consortium. At the time of writing, our Phase II sponsor consortium includes Bayer Animal Health, Hills Pet Nutrition, MSD Animal Health, Merial, Nestle Purina and Zoetis.