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St George's University: Health Ties Between Humans and Animals

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Exploring the Health Ties Between Humans and Animals

The point of contact between humans and animals is one examined in recent press reports – zoonotic diseases like SARS, avian flu and Mad Cow Disease cross between species, and are the source of much human illness and death. As the world of medicine gears up to battle these emerging public health issues, some practitioners are starting with an education at George’s University in Grenada.

Interdisciplinary Study, Innovative Education

The University, founded as an independent medical school in 1977, broadened its mission seven years ago to include animal health care, with a new School of Veterinary Medicine. Now the University’s increasing concentration in public health, its independent and combined public health degrees across both medicine and veterinary medicine, and its vibrant international community combine to provide an education unlike any other.

“Our students are involved in public health work in the veterinary field across the world,” said Calum Macpherson, PhD, Director of Research of the University and of its allied research consortium, the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation. “One worked in Morocco studying the risk factors for cystic echinococcosis in the Berber people, one of which was human-dog contact. Another, studying the same disorder, traveled to Uganda to follow a local wildlife veterinarian tagging and tracking lions and hyenas. He documented the relationship between the wildlife, the Bsongoro people and domestic pets in the area.” As a result of this work, the student secured funding from the US National Institutes of Health to underwrite his continuing study for the PhD degree at the University of California, Davis.

According to Margaret Lambert, Dean of Enrolment Planning, “The University’s approach to the teaching of medicine and programmes that allow our medical and veterinary medical students to collaborate collegially on important scientific study work make St. George’s unique in the world of education.

“Our world is interdependent. People and animals are intricately linked, for food and for companionship. St. George’s broad training and public health offerings translate into great career advantages for our veterinary students,” said Dean Lambert

For more information on St. George’s University’s Schools of Veterinary Medicine or Medicine, or any of its research-related or public health programmes, please visit www.sgu.edu.

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