The Next Generation One Health Philippines (NGOHP), together with the rest of the Planetary and Global Health Program (PGHP) of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine-William H. Quasha Memorial, participated in the 7th World One Health Congress, a five-day hybrid event held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore last November 7-11, 2022. In addition to the in-person attendance of the NGOHP core team, the 15 NGOHP fellows were also able to participate in the virtual sessions throughout the Congress.
The NGOHP team, with the rest of the St. Luke’s PGHP members, at the 7th World One Health Congress held in Singapore.
The Congress featured five key tracks: (1) One Health Science, (2) Antimicrobial Resistance, (3), Policy, Environment, and Biosecurity, (4) Pandemic Preparedness and Health Systems Resilience, and (5) Impact on and Innovations in Clinical Practice. Dr. Renzo Guinto, project lead of NGOHP and inaugural director of the St. Luke’s PGHP, gave an oral presentation about the fellowship in a session titled “Environment Change and Health: Strengthening Community Capacity” under the Policy, Environment, and Biosecurity track.
Dr. Renzo Guinto, project lead of NGOHP and inaugural director of the St. Luke’s PGHP, presenting the fellowship during one of the parallel sessions.
In addition to the NGOHP, the St. Luke’s PGHP also presented a poster entitled Rapid Multi-Method Assessment of the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Wet Market Biosecurity and Food Security in the Philippines, which highlighted the need to further improve wet market biosecurity in the country, while considering the pandemic’s effect on small-scale producers and low-income consumers in terms of food supply.
Dr. Renzo Guinto, together with Marianne Bongcac, with their poster for their research entitled “Rapid Multi-Method Assessment of the Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Wet Market Biosecurity and Food Security in the Philippines.”
Approximately 2,600 delegates attended the Congress, both online and in-person. Experts, faculty, researchers, and students from different disciplines related to One Health were all in attendance, as well as government representatives and corporations working in related fields. The virtual attendance of One Health professionals from all over the world was made possible through the event’s website, where participants were able to listen to plenary talks live and visit the interactive exhibits of abstracts and presentations.
The opening remarks were given by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Monique Eloit, the Director-General of the World Organisation for Animal Health, and Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore. “About 70% of all emerging pathogens have a zoonotic source. Irresponsible land use, deforestation, and climate change all increase the risk of new pathogens spilling over from wildlife and domestic animals to humans. We can only truly make the world safer if we address these underlying drivers of epidemics and pandemics,” said Dr. Ghebreyesus in his opening remarks.
The Congress was split into parallel sessions tackling each key track as well as a Pinnacle Series organized by the Temasek Foundation. Keynote speeches were given in the morning of each day, while panel discussions were held in the afternoon with topics such as “Global Financing and the One Health Agenda”, “National Sovereignty and Global Solidarity for Health Security”, and “The Impact of Our Environment and Microbiome on Health”. Over 50 talks, 100 oral abstract presentations, and 250 posters were delivered and shared during the Congress.
Professor Wang Linfa of Duke-NUS Medical School and Executive Director for the Programme for Research in Epidemic Preparedness and Response (PREPARE) gave the closing speech for the Congress, ending with a call to action to invest in prevention, work across sectors, and for greater One Health promotion. “We must be better custodians of our environment and the species that we share this planet with,” said Dr. Wang.
The 8th World One Health Congress will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2024.
The NGOHP team with the rest of the St. Luke’s PGHP members on the last day of the Congress.