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Saskatoon set for One Health conference

Saskatoon has won the bid, led by the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), to host the 2018 International One Health Congress, an event that is expected to bring more than 1,000 researchers and health professionals from around the world to share their work and create new research collaborations.

The 2018 congress will be held June 21 to 25 at TCU Place and the U of S campus.

Saskatoon will be the first North American city to host the congress that began in 2011. The announcement was made last week at the 2016 international congress in Melbourne. Previous conferences have taken place in Amsterdam and Bangkok.

"The health of people, animals and the environment are intimately interlinked," said Vikram Misra, U of S professor of microbiology at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), who leads the organizing committee.

"Such health problems are complex, and we need expertise from all disciplines to understand and collaboratively solve them. United by this One Health approach, our congress will bring together scientists, health care professionals, educators and members of the community, as well as people responsible for making government policy, to share their points of view and better understand each other's priorities and needs."

He said the U of S was selected by the international One Health Platform leadership team to co-host the meeting because the university has made One Health a research priority, with internationally acclaimed undergraduate, graduate, and faculty training and research programs.

The congress theme will be One Health in Underserved Communities, focusing on underprivileged or subsistent communities where there's a complex interplay of environmental, animal and human health issues, including spread of infectious diseases, rampant foodborne disease outbreaks, sick livestock and companion animals, and chronic water shortages.

The congress will also be unique in that young scientists will have an important role in all aspects of the meeting. "We will make a concerted effort to raise funds to assist young participants, especially from developing countries and our own underserved communities, to attend the congress," Misra said.

Brad Peters, Tourism Saskatoon's director of international sales, noted Tourism Saskatoon and the U of S have a longstanding partnership of working together to bid for and host international conferences.

"The impact of hosting 1,000 world leaders in health sciences for four days will be significant for Saskatoon, and an opportunity to position our city as a leader in this important new field internationally," Peters said.

https://youtu.be/gJ9ybOumITg

Find out more about the University of Saskatchewan's One Health initiatives or watch the above video.

To read more about the 2016 International One Health Congress or to reach past congress abstracts, visit the One Health Platform.
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