The new gens are getting ready to be future One Health workforce

Due to the increase in the number of emerging pandemic threats, students (future workforce) must be experienced in the detection, surveillance, control and response of these EIDs under real situations. Since 2016, training course call “International Short Course on Ecosystem Health” or “THOHUN-TELI” was developed to integrate “One Health approach” into the field- and community-based learning of multi-discipline students and to prepare them to respond to the disease outbreaks. The course was organized by Thailand One Health University Network (THOHUN) on June 5-23, 2017.

Arena for students learning

Multi-discipline students such as Public Health, Nursing, and Clinical tropical medicine, etc. had opportunity to exposed to complex health problems (infectious diseases or other public health problems) that originated from interconnections between humans, animals and the environment in the OH Village “Ban Mo Tao”, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand. On first visit to the OH village, the students used questionnaire and surveyed necessary information then found that there are major problems the villagers face with 1) Human – elephant conflict 2) Water/Food borne diseases 3) Vector borne diseases.

Multidisciplinary teams of students, facilitators and instructors preliminary interview villager about health problems in the villages

Problem Recognition: Your problems are our

Using the OH village demonstration site, students were given tasks to identify, investigate and find solutions to manage infectious diseases and other health problems in the village. As hallmark of the short course, multidisciplinary teams of students, facilitators and instructors worked together to apply techniques in their own disciplines and collaborative problem solving skills.

The student interviews villager about health problems in OH village “Ban Mo Tao” focusing on knowledge, attitude and practice of villagers to protect themselves from diseases

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The samples that collected from village was analyzed on biological/chemical hazards by the students

After collecting data and samples from the village, students spent their time for laboratory practice for hazard detection and analysis, for instance, coliforms detection in food/water, mosquito identification for malaria/dengue risk analysis, pathogen identification for human/domestic animals.

Finding solutions together

With inputs on “Social Innovation” concept that focuses attention on the ideas and solutions that create social value, students then worked together to develop a plan for risk communication to villagers along with the proposed solutions/suggestions to the identified problems.

During the third visit to the OH village, more than 30 villagers gathered for an evening meeting to listen to presentations as well as exchange of ideas, opinions, and comments on potential solutions to the human-elephant conflict, water/food borne diseases, and related diseases provided by students.

“Actually, I learned so many things from this course, not only the academic things, but also thinking process and soft skills as well. Because we have to work with the ecosystem health problems, which are human-elephant conflict, water borne diseases, vector borne diseases. So, we have to create a detection and analysis preparation, and we have to go there (OH village) to collect the data and sample, then come back to analyze it. At last, we have to communicate them(villagers) how we can solve the problems that fit with the villagers. It’s quite hard, but we learned so many things, we have to think out of the box and work as a team, because we come from different discipline and we have different background, different knowledge. That’s One Health, which kind of collective effort from multi-discipline that people have to work together to solve the problems.” – Achaporn Yipsirimetee (THOHUN TELI 2017 student)