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Oct 26, 2022

One Health Belize Platform is Launched

Today, at the Biltmore Plaza the National One Health Platform for Belize was launched. It seeks to provide a space for data collected on health from a human, environment and animal perspective. It is being spearheaded by the Pan American Health Organization in Belize and has the support from the Ministry of Health and Agriculture. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Noreen Jack

Dr. Noreen Jack, Representative, PAHO/WHO (Belize)

“The health of humans and animals is vitally interlinked. A majority of emerging and endemic human diseases have their origins in animals – be they be transmitted directly or through food or the environment. Some sixty percent of emerging infectious diseases that are reported globally come from animals – both wild and domestic – and over thirty new human pathogens have been detected in the last three decades, seventy-five percent of which have originated in animals. So one health is there for collaborative multisectoral trans-discipline re-approach, working at local, regional and national levels with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes, recognising the interconnection between humans, animals and our shared environment.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

Stakeholders from health, agriculture and the environment gathered for the launch of PAHO’s One Health Platform that seeks to achieve a comprehensive look at the health of the country – not only from a human perspective, but also from the point of view of animal health and the environment, and how they are interconnected.


Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness

“The focus has to be on that area where everything we do as humans can also have effects in our environment or what we do on the environment can also have effect on our human health. What we do with our animals can also effect the human and the environment. So it encompasses all three in one. So we want to be able to communicate with each other and share information with each other because there are times that if there is a disease born, a zoonotic disease, that affects and then you see later on it can transmits to human, then the Ministry of Health comes in. BAHA has to come in; the environment comes in because all these things intertwine with each other. So for me, it is for us to highlight where Belize is and Doctor Jack rightly mentioned that Belize has been a few of the countries that have been able to really put this forward as well at an early stage.”


This collaborative effort between all these stakeholders to protect people, animals and the environment has been happening for years and was experienced with the recent avian influenza that had contaminated several farms in Orange Walk. Agriculture Minister Jose Abelardo Mai says that the platform is about preparedness and response to health threats in all three sectors.


Jose Abelardo Mai

Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“It is about response and increased surveillance capabilities to address from an agricultural perspective and human health, zoonotic diseases and sharing other health threats at the human, animal and environment interface including plants. From an agricultural perspective, increasing surveillance of infectious diseases and other threats that affect the human animal and environment in the country of Belize is of critical importance to us.”


The data collected on the platform will help to inform not only policymakers in Belize, but is not limited by borders and will allow for networking with other countries on best practices.


Kevin Bernard

“What the one health platform will do is share data that all three ministries will communicate with and we will be able to share information that is affecting our country, but at the same time share information of what is happening in the region on what Belize is doing and we can get from what they are doing to see that these things do not affect Belize as well.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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