Thursday, 28 April 2011

Policy, Pastoralists, Pillars, Pirates, and Pathogens

The One Health Intellectual Exchange was privileged to welcome Dr. Corrie Brown from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine for the last regular weekly session. Dr. Brown’s talk on “Policy, Pastoralists, Pillars, Pirates, and Pathogens” spoke to the bigger picture of One Health, with the example of Rift Valley Fever in Saudi Arabia.


Given changes in policy and the creation of the World Trade Organization, standards for preventing the spread of disease are an issue of international concern. The example of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) involves pastoralists from the horn of Africa, who provide the majority of animals for ritual sacrifices at Mecca in Saudi Arabia. In 2000, a large outbreak of RVF in Saudi Arabia led to a ban of livestock imports from African countries where the disease is endemic, with huge economic losses to small pastoralists. Dr. Brown talked about an integrated approach to disease prevention involving trade groups, projects focused on increasing human capacity, and risk assessment training.


Since the majority of the semester focused on domestic health issues, Dr. Brown’s experience in the One Health field working across national boundaries provided a new perspective. We would like to thank Dr. Brown for her presentation to the One Health Intellectual Exchange, which was not only informative, but highly entertaining as well!