On World Veterinary Day (30 April), the OIE pays tribute to the crucial role played by veterinarians in protecting global health. This year, the event focuses on the opportunities for veterinarians to continue their training and extend their expertise in areas related to the ‘One Health’ concept. To achieve this, World Veterinary Day promotes collaboration with the human health sector in the coverage of issues such as zoonoses, food safety and antimicrobial resistance.
Throughout the day, and all around the world, the many activities led by veterinarians to improve animal health and welfare – and, through this, human health – will come under the spotlight.
Beyond merely protecting animal health, veterinarians are at the heart of the relationship between people and animals, which is so vital for all our futures – not only for our health but also for our social and environmental well-being.
In this era of globalisation, the emergence and re-emergence of unforeseen health crises is accelerating. It is estimated that five new infectious human diseases appear each year, three of which are zoonotic. The recent Ebola epidemic, as well as the appalling number of human deaths caused by rabies each year, is a remorseless reminder of the strong links between human health, animal health and the environment, and thus the need to adopt cross-sector approaches, as illustrated by the ‘One Health’ concept.
All countries depend on the performance of their national Veterinary Services, in their public and private components, not only to successfully control these diseases but also to tackle food safety issues, and to effectively control and prevent any biological disasters. Therefore, veterinarians should be well trained to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s public health arena.
Provided that the Veterinary profession and science are constantly evolving, continuing Education is crucial for veterinarians to keep their knowledge updated with the latest developments, skills and new technologies required to enable them to efficiently control of health risks at their animal source.
Veterinary education is a subject that is cherished by the OIE, which is organising its Fourth Global Conference on the subject in June, with the goal of raising standards for the veterinary profession all over the world.