One Health Month raises awareness on interconnected well-being in Hawaii

From KITV Honolulu (Island News), by Cynthia Yip, January 9, 2024

Alfy Basurto lived in his Lahaina Home for 11 years with his wife, Jessica raising their 5 children. Jessica was pregnant with their 6th child, after the wildfire tore through their home. J. Anthony Martinez Photography

HONOLULU (Island News) — One Health Month is being recognized at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. It sheds light on the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. At the heart of this initiative is a focus on the well-being of communities.
A Lahaina family is still picking up the pieces of their lives and health following the August Wildfires.

Alfy Basurto lived in his Lahaina Home for 11 years with his wife, Jessica raising their five children. Jessica was pregnant with their sixth child, after the wildfire tore through their home.

“So my my wife and I before the fires we were trying to we were trying for a baby. We’re trying to have another child and we’ve got pregnant right after the fire. We were really excited because after having experienced such tragedy. We were excited for bringing, a new life into our family and you know, it was something to be really excited for and shortly after was about three months after the fire. We we got the bad news that my wife miscarried. When you look at the effect of stress and anxiety on a body. And then you you look at how that even affects a pregnant you know, a pregnant mother. I mean its not a good environment to have a baby. You know, baby does not want to come into an environment, if you are under a great deal of stress that you could miscarry,” Basurto said.

At JABSOM, One Health researchers say, for the Lahaina wildfire survivors, stress can impact their mental and physical wellbeing.
Jourdan McMillan, PhD, JABSOM One Health Researcher says, “A lot of times when we think about health, we think about our physical health, but your mental health is highly impacted by your environment. If you think about where you live right now in your home, it’s really difficult to imagine if that were to come gone, right, the amount of stress that you would be under and we know that stress can impact our physical health as well.” One Health researchers highlight the significance of a holistic approach to health. As Maui works towards recovery, a comprehensive focus on health is crucial for rebuilding not only homes but also the resilience of the community.

January is proclaimed as One Health Awareness Month in Hawaii, the USA, and the world! One Health is the transdisciplinary approach to collaborate and promote the health of people, animals, and environment. To celebrate One Health, the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology, and Pharmacology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is hosting seminars and activities for everyone to participate!
To learn more and immerse yourself in One Health this month, click HERE.

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