ASSAf at the Fourth International Symposium on One Health
The 4th One Health International Symposium was held on 28 April 2021. The event was organised by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and the Don State Technical University as part of the RAS international scientific and technical-scientific cooperation projects.
The online symposium hosted leading specialists in medical, biological, veterinary, and environmental sciences from China, Georgia, India, Paraguay, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, the United States and Uzbekistan.
The forum featured scientific sessions on Antibiotics Resistance and Biosafety and Cross-Border Cooperation. The opening ceremony was moderated by Vice-President of RAS, Academician, Prof Irina Donnik, DSc in Biology.
Prof Jonathan Jansen, President of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), thanked RAS for the opportunity to participate in the opening ceremony. “Currently, the Academy of Science of South Africa has approved the study connected with the One Health concept. We are already amending our research with account for various pandemic-related restrictions. We particularly emphasise R&D, biomedical strategies. It is very important for all our academies to ensure that specialists in medicine and biology sit down together with sociologists, that they are with us,” he said.
In his welcome address, the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician Alexander Sergeev noted that recent events in vaccine development and the response to the COVID pandemic demonstrated scientists’ capabilities of uniting to respond to global challenges. This pandemic has also shown that the ‘One Health’ concept is now relevant like never before. According to Alexander Sergeev, there are three principal dimensions to this concept – antibiotics resistance, zoonoses, and food security. “Over the last few decades, we have noted a significant increase in emergencies and in epizootics. The health of people and animals is threatened by antibiotics resistance, new pathogens, and natural disasters. Studying the interconnections between the health of people and animals requires a multidisciplinary approach. We need experts in public health, animal health, the environment,” Alexander Sergeev also noted. The RAS President emphasised that the Symposium assembled eminent scientists, decision-makers, and leaders in the relevant fields; he thanked the participants and wished them a productive conference.
Dr Melita Vujnovic, the World Health Organization’s representative in Russia, noted the importance of creating a stable protective environment for sustaining people and animals on Earth.
Oleg Kobiakov, Director of FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation, greeted the attendees of the 4th One Health International Symposium and said, “Just like politicians the world over have long learned that security is single and indivisible, so doctors have arrived at the same conclusion regarding health. That’s how ‘One World – One Health’ concept was born. This year, the United Nations Environment Programme has joined this cooperation project since the events of the last few months showed that wild nature, our environment, the waters, are a reservoir of microorganisms, including highly pathogenic ones.”
Hou Jianguo, an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and of the World Academy of Sciences, said that today’s situation with the epidemic stresses the importance of bolstering international scientific and technical cooperation in public health. In order to combat the global pandemic, great importance is attached to cooperation with the international scientific community.