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One Health Induction Day 2016: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Managing Health Hazards

Changing environmental, social and agricultural conditions pose a threat to both human and animal health. Many diseases can be transmitted between animals and humans, including highly pathogenic ones like avian influenza. Food production, human nutrition and livelihoods are affected by diseases of livestock and wildlife.

A concept known as ‘One Health’ recognises this intimate relationship between human and animal health and the condition of the environment, and promotes a holistic, systemic approach to managing health hazards. One Health is increasingly becoming an important part of both medical and veterinary practice, creating the need for skilled One Health workers.

LIDC has been working on One Health and zoonotic and emerging diseases since our establishment in 2008. As part of our portfolio of One Health initiatives, we have supported our member Colleges to develop a new postgraduate programme in One Health which launched in 2013. The course, now in its third year, is delivered jointly by Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Students come to study for a Diploma or an MSc in One Health with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds: public health, veterinary sciences, animal or biological sciences, social and environmental sciences, ecology and wildlife health. In just one year the programme has grown from eight students, mostly from European countries, to 16 students last year, hailing from Europe and the US, but also Somalia, Nigeria, Singapore and Kenya.

On October 17th, LIDC organised an induction day for the new cohort of One Health MSc and Diploma students. The participants were introduced to the concept of One Health and its relevance to medical and veterinary practice, the theory and practice of interdisciplinarity, and methods of interdisciplinary research. The students will spend a year at both RVC and LSHTM exploring the principles of One Health. Those studying for the MSc will then undertake a four-month research project in an area and country of their choice. After the completion of their degrees, graduates will often embark on careers in government, research and other organisations implementing and managing health programmes.

 

Stella Ijeoma Ibezim, is a nurse from Nigeria where she worked in the public health sector with different NGOs such as the Institute of Human Virology and Caritas where she focused on HIV and sexual infections. Stella joined the One Health programme to gain a broader perspective of how to manage patients with various infections and diseases. Stella is interested in doing research in various public health systems and animal to human disease transmission.

 

Alicia Bruck, an American citizen, was an undergraduate student at Cornell University where she studied animal science, after which she came to the UK to do a veterinarian degree and work in small animal medicine. Alicia became interested in the One Health model after attending an workshop where an academic from RVC spoke of the One Health approach.

 

More about the One Health MSc    

More about LIDC’s work in One Health