ICBAS - Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar

One Health protagonist of 'History' in the media

The path is made by walking, wrote Antonio Machado (1875-1839) in what was the poem that left him for the eternity of letters. It is in this slow path made of persistent steps that the One Health concept is forming a school, which may come to revolutionize the way of looking at Health, the one that guides us, comforts us, makes us believe that it is possible to be better, which gives us quality of life and circumvents the void of pessimism even when the scenario is the darkest and the days seem shortened to death.

Read the full piece here.

Source: Notícias Magazine.

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The One Health approach in Africa

By Adriano A. Bordalo e Sá, ICBAS

PORTO - The transdisciplinary One Health concept allows the understanding of complex health problems affecting humans, animals, plants, and the environment. Indeed, all these compartments are linked, and we must evolve from the perspective “humans first” to a holistic approach that all living organisms have a role in the Biosphere.

Africa is considered the poorest continent on Earth. Every second person living in sub-Saharan Africa lives below the poverty line, and the human health and veterinary services are, in most cases, basic. However, this is an opportunity to build bridges between people, animals, plants, and their environments. Currently, about 60% of the population is rural, were the connectivity is higher. In several parts of the continent, children and livestock vaccination occurs simultaneously, febrile patients are now screened for brucellosis along with malaria and typhoid fever, in cooperation with veterinary labs, in many cattle prone areas.

The emergence of novel infectious diseases as well as the re-emergence of others, many of them having animals as reservoirs or vectors, will probably increase in the near future. The advance of the Sahel towards the South, the change of the agroecological environment including the loss of forests, armed conflicts, the migration of humans towards the cites where water, sanitation, and food security is not granted, decreases the health status of entire populations. Indeed, cholera, measles, viral hemorrhagic diseases, malaria, and meningitis top the list of epidemics, exposing further the vulnerability of local health systems.

Africa endorsed One Health as a tool towards disease surveillance, prevention, control, and epidemic readiness to tackle disease. Despite all notorious advancements in recent years, gaps are still omnipresent, dealing with a lack of African funding, poor decision maker awareness, inadequate human and material resources, and general public understanding. Nevertheless, the One Health is the right path to tackle the health issues distressing the Biosphere, humans included.

One Health concept conference in Bissau, West Africa, May 2022.

Credits. Adriano A. Bordalo e Sá.


Summer Research School '1Health1Welfare'

The course, for students and graduates, will have a strong laboratory component aimed at protecting human and animal welfare.

A week of theoretical-practical component followed by at least 3 weeks of intense practical-laboratory work linked to the One Health. This is the challenge of the Summer Research School 1Health1Welfare that the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS) will host between July 10th and September 8th. This is one of the first training opportunities resulting from the One Health strategy that the School has been reinforcing lately.

Based on the connection between animal and human well-being, widely associated with the One Health concept, the course aims to provide participants with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and research methods in one of these five areas: Immunology and infection; Animal nutrition; Parasitology; Conservation and management of wild populations; Animal welfare and human-animal interaction.

The research work can be carried out at ICBAS or at one of the institutions associated with the course, namely the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP), the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S) or the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources of the University of Porto (CIBIO).

The objective, according to the researcher in charge, Anna Olson, is to “bring students and research closer together”: “Participants will gain a theoretical and practical basis in the One Health research methodology and will experience the scientific process in its real context”, ensures the coordinator.

The applications are open until the 19th of May and are intended for students, from the University of Porto and other institutions, who are attending, or who have completed, a cycle of studies (bachelor, master or doctorate) in the area of Life and Health sciences.


ICBAS professor launches book “Many Species, One Veterinary Medicine”

A new release by U. Porto Press proposes a reflection on the evolution of veterinary medicine and the relationship between humans and animals.

“What does a veterinarian do?”, “What animal species is he/she dedicated to?”, “How is his/her training structured?” or “Is it a difficult profession?”, reads on the back cover of Many Species, One Veterinary Medicine. This short questionnaire sets the tone for reading one of the most recent editorial novelties of the U.Porto Press, the number four of the Studies and Teaching collection of the publishing office.

“This book reflects, precisely, on the evolution of veterinary medicine and on the evolution of the relationship between humans and animals”, defends Paulo Martins da Costa, professor at the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar and author of the publication.

In response to the question about whether Veterinary Medicine is a difficult profession, Paulo Martins da Costa says yes. “A veterinarian needs dedication, knowledge, worldview and a keen ethical sense”, adding that “it is less and less frequent for people to understand (and respect) animals in their essence, tending now to humanize them, now to mechanize them”.

According to the author, the profession is complex, being “at the center of a circle of important animals for man”. These animals fall into several quadrants, being attributed different “human meanings” to them – domestic, wild, experimental, sports, pests, disease vectors, adorable, symbolic, dangerous, faithful…

Read the full article on Notícias UP.


Aquatic science at ICBAS at the service of the health of the Biosphere

There is a lot of water on the Planet. But since it is 97% salty, it cannot be directly used by most land, air and freshwater aquatic beings. If 2000 years ago we had the same amount of water available as today, at the time for the consumption of 72 million inhabitants, the 8 billion people today have to share it among everyday uses, such as domestic, industrial and agricultural, requiring ever-increasing amounts. The pressure on the water resource has never been so high, but with ongoing climate change, globally applicable measures must be taken to protect the hydrosphere.

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly approved a historic resolution considering access to drinking water as a human right, along with other enshrined rights. Part of the water returns to the aquatic environment, but with different chemical, physical and even microbiological characteristics. In other words, polluted. Contaminated water means a sick environment and, ultimately, leads to the degradation of the health of the Biosphere, the thin layer of the Earth where living beings are distributed.

Read the full article here.

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