Win a travel grant to “Global Health at the Human-Animal-Ecosystem Interface”| Geneva Health Forum, April 2018 |Coursera |

Note: only low or lower-middle income country citizens eligible – Please forward to your contacts who will be eligible…

Closes: 1st February 2018 (23:59 pm, Geneva Local Time, UTC/GMT + 1)

Win a Travel Grant to attend the Geneva Health Forum in April 2018 for free and participate in an innovative workshop and learning experience on digital innovation in Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases and Global Health!

Note you will need to join COURSERA to access the information and all the links below

The Geneva Health Forum (GHF), created in 2006 by the University Hospitals of Geneva and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, is the Swiss flagship event in Global Health. Every two years, GHF attracts both Swiss and internationally renowned stakeholders, and brings together participants from all sectors (health, academia, politics, civil society and private sector professionals).

This seventh edition of the GHF will focus on “Precision Global Health in the Digital Age”. It will take place from April 10-12, 2018 at the International Conference Center of Geneva (CICG). The GHF combines plenary and parallel sessions and a large international exhibition area, which is a fantastic opportunity for networking and extending discussions beyond the conference rooms. About 1’200 participants from 80 countries are expected and Russia is guest of honor. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO Director-General and Dr Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation are among the GHF 2018 keynotes speakers.

The GHF 2018 offers this year one travel grant covering the travelling and accommodation costs of a learner from this MOOC on “Global Health at the Human-Animal-Ecosystem Interface”. This learner will join during the GHF 2018 an innovative workshop entitled Are we ready for the next emerging pandemic? Opportunities and challenges in the Digital Age. This workshop will use a project-based and active learning approach, where participants will address this exciting question working collaboratively in interdisciplinary and international teams, and interact with the large diversity of high-level experts and participants at the GHF 2018. This workshop is also part of the Spring School in Global Health 2018

To be this lucky learner participant, you must:

1) Be a national of a low or lower-middle income country included in the OECD listing Eligible countries of origin are in the first three columns: Least Developed Countries/Other Low Income Countries/ Lower Middle Income Countries and Territories. If you have a dual nationality of which one is not of a low or lower-middle income country, you may NOT apply for a travel grant

2) Have successfully completed the MOOC by February 1st 2018, which involves passing all the graded quiz (a quiz for each section plus the final quiz) We will need a screen shot of the Coursera’s email that you will receive upon completion of the course. The official Coursera certificate is not required, which means that there are no costs for participating to this competition

3) Film a 2 min video pitch responding to the following questions.

– Are we ready for the next emerging pandemic?

  • Yes or No?
  • Give two reasons why Yes or No based on what you have learned during this MOOC and/or on other knowledge or resources your may have on the topic
  • If No, suggest two actions/strategies to improve our readiness. Where would you put the efforts (e.g. innovative and joint epidemiological surveillance, vaccines development etc.)?

– How will participating in this workshop help you to progress in your career?

Deadline for sending the Coursera’s email confirmation and your video: 1st February 2018 (23:59 pm, Geneva Local Time, UTC/GMT + 1)

Your ability to communicate the content in a clear and synthetic way will be taken into account in the selection process.

Format & filming tools:

  • Video-talk of a strict maximum of 2 min. No video-edition required (e.g. images, maps etc.)
  • You can use any filming device (e.g. webcam in your laptop, camera in your smart phone, video-camera etc.) as long as your face is clearly visible (headshot) and your voice loud and clear. You may want to use a micro and/or talk close to your recording device to ensure the quality of the sound.
  • Videos over 2 min, not visible and/or audible will be rejected and not evaluated
  • Prepare in advance and feel free to use supporting materials for your presentation and read your notes slides etc.
  • Use We Tranfer to send both your video and the Coursera’s email of confirmation to globalhealthgeneva2018@gmail.com

What if your project is not selected?

The workshop will be open to all and we will give you the possibility to join online and work distantly with your colleagues.

What does the Travel Grant cover?

The GHF travel grant cover one or all of the following;

  • Visa costs for Switzerland
  • Return Economy airfare
  • Accommodation in Geneva for the duration of the conference

What does the Travel Grant NOT cover?

The Travel Grant does not cover:

  • Per diems
  • Terminal costs (taxi, airport, etc.)
  • Excess luggage costs

Source: Coursera | Online Courses From Top Universities. Join for Free | Coursera (

BVA news – BVA President: could it be you?

BVA officers ensure the Association fulfills its mission to represent, support and champion the whole UK veterinary profession

Nominations for the President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) for 2019/20 are now open and will run until 15 January 2018, with all veterinary surgeons invited to self-nominate or nominate a fellow BVA member with their consent.

The BVA officer team consists of BVA President, Senior Vice President (SVP) and Junior Vice President (JVP). BVA Officers collectively, and working closely with the Chief Executive and his team, provide leadership to BVA to help ensure the Association fulfils its mission to be the leading body representing, supporting and championing BVA members and the whole UK veterinary profession.

This year, to ensure that BVA officers cover as broad a range of veterinary expertise as possible, BVA would particularly welcome applications for the next JVP (2018/2019), becoming BVA President in 2019/20, from BVA members:

  • in or very recently in clinical practice
  • with a background in animal welfare science, ethics and law
  • with a thorough understanding/awareness of the current veterinary landscape
  • with an understanding of workforce issues, including retention and recruitment, and the professional needs and expectations of recent graduates
  • Nominations for the next JVP are confidential and will be assessed by the BVA Electoral College, which assesses nominations and formally selects members for election to BVA officer status.

Each officer role (JVP, President, SVP) is for one-year term from BVA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September to the AGM the following September. Candidates for JVP and President must be elected by the membership at the AGM to serve the coming year. The total commitment is therefore three years as a BVA officer, plus a further three years serving as a past president on BVA Council (four meetings per year).

BVA President John Fishwick said: “As a BVA officer, it is a huge honour to represent the UK’s veterinary profession however it is not simply an ‘honorary role’, particularly during this time of professional, social and political upheaval when BVA is supporting and championing the vital role vets play more than ever before.

“I have been a BVA officer for 15 months now and it is a privilege to be so involved in a profession that is pivotal to animal health and welfare, and public health too.

“Part of the role is representing the views of our profession clearly and concisely to policymakers, politicians and the media and, although this may seem daunting, you have the full support of the BVA team and are given invaluable training.

“I would encourage anyone with a passion to promote the value of the veterinary profession, and who is seeking a fulfilling role, to apply to help ensure BVA continues to be a strong voice for our profession.”

BVA members who are interested in applying for, or nominating a fellow BVA member with their consent to become part of the BVA officer team, can find out more on our BVA officer elections page. The closing date for nominations is 9am on 15 January 2018.

14 December 2017

Source: BVA news – BVA President: could it be you?

18 fully-funded interdisciplinary PhD studentships available in Antimicrobial Resistance Research| UK 

Applications are now open for the first and only National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) research, funded by the Medical Research Foundation in response to the urgent action needed to halt antimicrobial resistance and to accelerate new treatments for bacterial infection.

The Medical Research Foundation is delighted to fund the UK’s only national PhD Training Programme in antimicrobial resistance research. We believe the programme will help to respond to the global health challenge that is antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance and drug resistant infections and strengthen the UK’s research capacity overall.

PROFESSOR NICHOLAS LEMOINE, CHAIR, MEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION
Fully-funded studentships
18 fully-funded PhD studentships are available, hosted by 15 universities & institutions across the UK. Please see the Research Projects page for more details.

Apply now
Applications must be made to the institution offering the project by 31 January 2018. Please read our application process for details.

Contact us
For all enquiries related to the National PhD Training Programme in AMR Research, please email amrphd-info@bristol.ac.uk. Source: National PhD Training Programme in AMR | School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine | University of Bristol

There are 18 fully-funded interdisciplinary PhD studentships available, hosted by 15 universities and institutions across the UK. Please find details of the projects offered under the four AMR research themes below.

The following themes have been identified by the Tackling AMR – A Cross Council Initiative to provide the interdisciplinary and collaborative approach necessary to address the challenge of AMR. The large and multi-institutional research consortia funded under the cross-council AMR initiative are participating in the Medical Research Foundation National PhD Programme in AMR research and are hosting one studentship each.

Theme 1: Understanding resistant bacteria in the context of the host
Projects within this theme explore resistant bacteria in the host context to help develop our understanding of resistance mechanisms, identify new targets for novel antibiotics and the development of new diagnostics.
Theme 2: Accelerating therapeutics and diagnostics development
Projects offered under this theme aim to refresh the antibiotic development pipeline, develop host defence-based therapeutics and rapid point of care diagnostics.
Theme 3: Understanding real-world interactions
Projects within this theme focus on surveillance of AMR in the environment, how resistant bacteria adapt to their environments and how the dynamics of community interactions affect resistance and transmission of resistant bacteria.
Theme 4: Behaviour within and beyond the health setting
Projects offered under this theme aim to identify the socio- economic conditions and behavioural attitudes that drive the spread of resistant bacteria to help develop and evaluate policies and strategies to mitigate and manage AMR and the stewardship of antibiotics.

The fight against antimicrobial resistance is serious, life-threatening and global and it is a fight we must win. As academic lead for the Medical Research Foundation’s national PhD Training Programme, I look forward to leading the next generation of researchers to develop the multidisciplinary research skills required to tackle this major health problem.

DR. MATTHEW AVISON (UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL), ACADEMIC LEAD FOR THE ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE PHD TRAINING PROGRAMME
National PhD Training Programme in AMR

See at: https://www.mrc.ac.uk/research/initiatives/antimicrobial-resistance/tackling-amr-a-cross-council-initiative/

Unreal Veterinary Careers – An Interview with Dr Samantha Phelan BVSc (Hons) – Veterinarian at Roper Gulf Regional Council

Introduction by Emma:

I met Dr Samantha Phelan around 10 years ago in Darwin in the hot, humid Northern Territory build-up. Memorably this kind and busy vet-mum welcomed me to their home for dinner amongst the rest of the mid-week scramble that all parents are well aware of!

We had a great night – drank wine, laughed, shared a traditional local dinner and dare I say the Canberran (me) sweltered in the NT night! At that time (and ever since) it struck me that there are people of amazing calibre tucked out of the limelight – quietly doing work the hard work that touches and improves so many lives and just getting on with the job. To that point in my career I was unaware of the need that existed in indigenous communities around animal management but ever since I have been fascinated by (and support where I can) the work of dog programs.

I have followed Samantha’s career and her publications (below) and at Veterinarycareers.com.au we are currently advertising a role to work alongside Sam for the Roper Gulf Council – so it is my very great pleasure to introduce you to Dr Samantha Phelan…’Welcome Sam – may I ask… What have been the major transitions in your career path?

Sam (A): The night before my graduation in 1994, I was offered a job with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries to work on the cotton residue contamination of drought-affected cattle in the Narrabri region. This provided me with interesting insight into the Government sector, international trade relations and chemical residue work.  As we were taking fat samples from cattle, it also got me somewhat familiar with scalpels and needles drivers – as I wasn’t a natural surgeon, this was a valuable training ground.

In 1995, I took some time off and travelled to Gove in the Northern Territory to do my first shaky speys, mentored by a friend who was working there. During that long wet season, I read a PhD about Indigenous community dog health programs. I had always had an interest in public health in developing countries and had travelled extensively, but I had my own pets and could not travel for extended periods overseas easily. Once I read the PhD, I realised similar opportunities for public health work existed in remote Indigenous communities in Australia. I immediately knew I wanted to do that  work, but I needed sound clinical skills before I could be of real benefit in these extremely remote areas.

I returned to the Central Coast of NSW and I worked for two years in busy routine mixed practice at Ourimbah Vet Hospital. The high caseload and quality of the supervision meant that my clinical skills evolved rapidly.

Photo: Northern Territory Sunset 

I then travelled around Australia, and like many I had run out of money by Darwin.  So I worked in mixed practice and waited for the doors to open. I met and worked with Stephen Cutter, who was already doing remote community work.  I then tendered for work in the greater Katherine region. I ran my own business doing remote animal health programs from 1998 until 2003. During this time, I met my husband and passed the business on when it came time to have my first child.

I was a stay-at-home mum for 10 years as I raised my three daughters, home schooling them for much of it. In this time, I served on the AMRRIC board and collaborated with Environmental Health departments nationally to write the educational manual Dog Health Programs in Indigenous Communities, an Environmental Health Practitioners Guide. I also wrote Conducting Dog Health Programs, a Veterinary Guide for AMRRIC.

In 2012, I returned to locum work in Darwin and refreshed my clinical skills. When the offer to develop an in-house veterinary model for Roper Gulf Regional Council appeared in late 2016, I jumped at the chance. I see working within the Council has the potential to broaden the educational and environmental health roles of the position. This has the potential to create long-term change in both human and animal health in these regions and I am excited to further develop the program over the next few years.

Photo: Delivering dectomax sandwiches to dogs at Barunga. 

Sam and Javin the Animal Management Assistant in Barunga NT.

  1. What has inspired you throughout your career (and has it always been the same)?

A: The drive behind my work has always been the same: I love animals, I love people and their stories, and I love this big country of ours.

I love observing the human-animal bond. As a university student, I presented on pets as therapy, and to this day I see how good quality animal contact can improve people’s physical and mental health. Indigenous peoples in Australia have been subjected to a lot of trauma in regards to animal management, with large-scale forced dog culls being common place in the Northern Territory until 20 years ago. The work vets do in this field prevents the need for mass culling, has significantly reduced canines’ scabies prevalence and has a huge and beneficial effect on the community’s happiness. I love to be able to contribute to people’s overall health by making veterinary care accessible though the work we do.

  1. What has been a major highlight of your career?

A: I don’t really have a single career highlight. The daily interactions of my work create a series of small highlights – stories shared, laughter and the development of relationships and trust all create these highlights, whether that be in a remote community, at smoko by a cattle crush or in suburban practice.

Photo: Sam undertaking dog health checks in community

accompanied by Kaylene Runyu, Animal Management

Assistant and Linda Bradbury an AMRRIC Veterinary Volunteer.

  1. What advice would you provide a younger you?

A: The cynic in me says “Do medicine, it pays so much better!” But the other part of me says “Trust that if you hold your vision, whatever work you do is preparation for that vision, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.” Then, when the right door opens, you will recognise it and be ready to walk through it – and make sure you take time to smell the roses along the way.

  1. What do you see as future opportunities for the veterinary profession?

A: Increasing human population and climatic shifts are placing pressure on animals, both wild and farmed, globally. I think these factors will put the spotlight on the veterinary profession, in regard to species protection, feeding the human population and preventing transmission of emerging zoonotic diseases.  I believe as a profession we can provide a scientific bridge between animals, humans and the environment and thereby contribute positively to the conservation of this beautiful planet.

Emma: Thanks very much for your time Sam ~ we look forward to hearing future updates & if people are interested in this type of work (or know someone who is) please check out the Junior Veterinarian, Roper Gulf Regional Council role currently being advertised here.

-Ends-

Q Fever Research News

 Q Fever is a disease of humans and livestock caused by Coxiella burnetii bacterial infection.

A new research project will develop a better understanding of factors influencing the risk of Q Fever spread within and between Australian ruminant livestock enterprises, and develop national guidelines for an emergency response plan to be used in the event of Q Fever outbreak in humans.

Coxiella burnetii is extremely resistant to environmental conditions and one of the most contagious organisms known to man. A single organism is sufficient to cause infection.

The most common route of infection is inhalation of contaminated dust, contact with contaminated milk, meat and wool, and close contact with infected animals.

A Q Fever outbreak similar to that which occurred in The Netherlands in 2007-2010 would be catastrophic in terms of human health and for Australia’s dairy goat industry.

The Taking the ‘Q’ (query) out of Q Fever: developing a better understanding of the drivers of Q Fever spread in farmed ruminants project will improve understanding of Q Fever reservoirs, amplification and transmission pathways to help direct biosecurity resources more efficiently. In turn, this will reduce the burden of an extremely debilitating disease in rural communities.

This project will also provide knowledge that can be used to develop policies that will limit the likelihood of a large and prolonged Q Fever outbreak in Australia. This will help to maintain Australia’s position as an exporter of premium agricultural produce.

Project funding

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program.

Under the Rural R&D for Profit program, AgriFutures Australia received:

Grant funding: $514,500

Cash contributions: $735,000

In-kind contributions: $367,800

Total project resources: $1,617,300

Project partners

  • University of Melbourne
  • Meredith Dairy
  • University of Queensland
  • Australian Rickettsial Research Laboratory
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Adelaide
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Goat Veterinary Consultancies (Goatvetoz)
  • Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)
  • Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF)