FAO: Momentum builds for ‘One World, One Health’ concept

first_imgNov 26, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – At last month’s avian flu conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, participants endorsed a new strategy for fighting avian influenza and other infectious diseases, one that focuses on points where animal, human, and ecosystems meet, according to a recent statement by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).The groups’ support for the “One World, One Health” (OWOH) approach, detailed in a 68-page strategy report, was overshadowed by news from the donor session of the meeting of a $350 million infusion of funds, led by the United States, toward the international fight against avian influenza, the FAO said. The meeting took place Oct 24 through Oct 26 and was attended by 530 participants from more than 120 countries and 26 regional and international organizations.The FAO said the strategy paper was released on Oct 14 under the banner of the FAO, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the United Nations Influenza Coordination System, and the World Bank.The main goal of the OWOH approach is to shrink the risk and global impact of disease outbreaks by improving livestock and wildlife intelligence, surveillance, and emergency response through stronger public and animal health systems, according to the FAO. The approach calls on broad cooperation among disciplines and sectors and puts a high priority on “hot spots” for emerging infectious diseases.”Delegates to the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting welcomed the approach as a starting point for future action and called for further elaboration of the concept and clear indications of the roles of all stakeholders in the process,” the FAO said.An emerging One World, One Health viewThe Wildlife Conservation Society, a nonprofit group based in the Bronx, N.Y., that is active in 53 countries and manages wildlife parks and zoos, first introduced the OWOH concept at an international symposium in 2004. The ideas were presented as 12 recommendations that served as “Manhattan principles” for a more holistic approach for preventing disease epidemics and maintaining the global ecosystem to promote human and animal health, according to the report by the FAO and its colleagues.Since then, the concept has picked up momentum through European and US initiatives, according to the strategy report. For example, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) established a task force in 2004 to address OWOH issues and frequently includes sessions on the theme at its regional and national conferences, according to background materials posted on the AVMA Web site.At a December 2007 international avian flu conference in New Delhi, participants agreed that they needed a better understanding of the drivers surrounding emerging infectious diseases and singled out the OWOH perspectives as helpful for developing medium-term strategies to address emerging infectious diseases, according to the report.New proposals take shapeAccording to the new report by the FAO and its collaborators, the OWOH approach includes five main strategies:Build robust public and animal health systems that comply with the WHO’s International Health Regulations and OIE standardsPrevent and control disease outbreaks by improving national and international response capacitiesAddress the needs of poor populations by shifting focuses to developing economies and locally important diseases such as Rift Valley fever, tuberculosis, and foot-and-mouth diseasePromote collaborations across sectors and disciplinesConduct research that guides the development of targeted disease control programs.A benefit of focusing on problems that affect developing world areas is not only controlling the often-neglected diseases, but also promoting infectious disease surveillance at the local level, the report said. “Surveillance systems at the grassroots level that are based on engaging poor communities by addressing their immediate disease problems are likely to generate better cooperation and will be more robust and sustainable in the long term,” it said.Enhanced global collaboration among national and regional groups to improve disease surveillance and prevention will also help fight bioterrorism and agroterrorism, the report notes.The global fight against avian influenza has already improved collaboration among the world’s public health and veterinary groups, but a greater focus on pooling resources and forming effective synergies as part of an OWOH strategy can lead to a better understanding of the epidemiology of emerging diseases, faster identification of reservoirs, and more efficient control and prevention, particularly in poorer countries, according to the report.To fund OWOH goals, the report suggests expanding the financial model that has been used since the January 2006 Beijing international avian influenza conference to include contributions from nonconventional donors such as groups that fight specific diseases, industry groups, and foundations.”The introduction of a special system of levies at the international level to fund public health infrastructure in several developing countries, particularly fragile states, would need to be seriously considered,” the report said.Looking forwardCanada’s government has offered to host a technical meeting in Winnipeg in early 2009 to further discuss the OWOH strategy, the FAO said in its press release.Participants, including the groups that helped author the OWOH report, will likely discuss what the next steps would be toward implementing the strategy, how the measures could be financed, and how to encourage stakeholder buy-in, according to the FAO.”Timely implementation will contribute significantly to the overall goal of improving public health, food safety and security, and the livelihoods of poor farming communities, as well as protecting the health of ecosystems,” the FAO said.See also:Nov 24 FAO news releaseOct 14 “One World, One Health” consultation documentAVMA Web sitehttp://www.avma.orglast_img read more

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Lakers’ Byron Scott occasionally offers sharp tongue following losses

first_imgThe Lakers have lost plenty this season, obviously. So much that they are only 10 losses away from tying last season’s 25-57 record, which marked the team’s worst performance in L.A. franchise history. Through that, Scott mostly has succeeded in ensuring his team still plays hard before eventually folding in the final moments. But Scott has occasionally used his postgame press conference to call out the team for a poor effort. Scott blistered the team’s defense in losses in New Orleans on Nov. 12, against Golden State on Nov. 16 and in Dallas on Nov. 21. Scott lamented how the Lakers did not follow his game plan in their loss against Minnesota on Nov. 29. Scott called the Lakers’ “soft” following a loss to the Clippers on Jan. 7.“When he feels like we played (poorly), he lets us know,” Lakers rookie guard Jordan Clarkson said. “There’s been a few times this year. We always come back the next game and put the pedal down and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes.” Scott’s latest rant included a few punch lines. On how a 17-win team could overlook an opponent: “Exactly. How can you look at anybody in this league and say this is going to be an easy win?” On Knicks coach and former Lakers guard Derek Fisher: “I’m sure D-Fish would like to play us 10 more times before the season is over. If I was him, I would.”On if Scott thinks the Lakers will respond better in future games: “If we haven’t learned our lesson about looking at other teams, thinking that we’re better than them, we’re not very bright, obviously.”On how Scott copes after losses: “I go home and beat up the dog. I’m just joking. There’s a lot of people who are animal activists that might think he beats his dog? I don’t even have a dog. I go home.”Scott’s comments went beyond frustration over a loss. He conceded that such performances will influence how he evaluates how the current roster fits into the Lakers’ rebuilding plans. “It’ll be a little bit of it, no doubt about it,” Scott said. “Obviously we want good players. We want good people. But we want guys who want to win every single game too. I have no place for guys who are selfish and guys who are looking out for themselves.” By this point, Lakers coach Byron Scott should be in a good mood. Scott said he would spend the team’s off day Friday with his grandchildren, something he said “puts everything in perspective.” But when the Lakers (17-47) resume practice today before hosting the Atlanta Hawks (50-14) on Sunday at Staples Center, it will be interesting to see how much Scott’s mood shifts. Scott is only two days removed from offering a blistering critique on the Lakers’ effort in their 101-94 loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday at Staples Center. It likely only fueled Scott’s frustration that the Lakers lost to the NBA’s worst team.“I hate losing, no matter what,” Scott said. “I hate losing. I can accept it, but I hate losing.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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