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To foster interest and a deeper understanding of the One Health approach among Filipinos, the Next Generation One Health Philippines (NGOHP) hosted the Juan Health Conversations, a three-part webinar series that delves into the concepts of One Health and its application in the Philippines. Supported by the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade, NGOHP is one of the projects of the Planetary and Global Health Program (PGHP) of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine – William H. Quasha Memorial (SLMCCM-WHQM).
The three webinar topics were held between April to August 2023 and made available to all, with the following themes:
- Juan Health Conversations Episode 1: Exploring the Link Between Wildlife and Pandemics
- Juan Health Conversations Episode 2: Community Participation in Conservation and Sustainability
- Juan Health Conversations Episode 3: One Health Policy and Governance
Through several panel discussions, NGOHP fellows from diverse backgrounds shared insights on a range of topics related to One Health and wildlife trade, emphasizing the role of civil society, community engagement, and decision-makers in effecting change.
In one session, Jackielyn Abela, an anthropologist and an NGOHP fellow, remarked that wildlife trade was still happening on the ground, and it was because local communities were not yet engaged in the full implementation of the law. She added: “If we reach out to them and include them in policy making, there’s a meeting point in which we can engage them and include them in its formulation and implementation.”
Yet despite some challenges in operationalizing One Health, hope remains that collaboration is the key. “By balancing the interests of stakeholders and emphasizing the positive outcomes of having a shared vision, it becomes possible to bridge the gap between different sectors,” said physician Dr. Emmanuelle Angeles.
To conclude the series, Dr. Gail Co, project coordinator of NGOHP, also gave a few closing remarks. “We have witnessed the power of collaboration and the importance of diverse perspectives,” she said. “Regardless of our backgrounds, we have learned that each individual has a role to play in promoting One Health. We hope that this series has sparked a newfound awareness of our world, encompassing both people and the planet.”