THOHUN focuses on pre-service workforce training and strengthening outbreak response capacity. It collaboratively works with university partners, i.e. Tufts University and University of Minnesota, and South East Asia University One Health Network (SEAOHUN) to conduct a number of activities to promote “One Health” concept in the Thai society at several levels. The regional network, SEAOHUN, is composed of 10 universities and 14 faculties from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These institutions have jointly exchanged academic resources and advance innovative teaching methodologies, as well as shared professional expertise.
Since 2012, Thailand One Health University Network or THOHUN has responsibility on pre-service training both in future and current workforce to early prevent and protect emerging/ re-emerging diseases in Thailand by integration of collaboration across sectors with respect to One Health approach. The One Health approach is particularly relevant regarding to the control of zoonoses, rabies risk communication and combatting antibiotic resistance. To effectively respond to, and prevent outbreaks of zoonoses, epidemiological data and laboratory information should be shared across sectors.
According to strengthen workforce potential, One Health core competencies (OHCCs) were developed for current workforce based on the Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of One Health Initiative for National Health Security which is agreement of 7 Thai ministries (Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health) and Thai Red Cross. For preparedness to outbreaks prevention, OHCCs were improved and adjusted that suitable for future workforce who will be a future operational person in public health sector both in private and government.
Strong, recognized, and sustainable One Health University Network throughout Thailand by 2025, with sustained engagement and partnerships, regional integration, and empowerment
Build, develop, and expand One Health University Network of Thailand
Develop and exchange skilled One Health professionals between universities and involved agencies
Support trans-disciplinary collaboration within and between universities and involved agencies
Promote research employing One Health approach to promote the health of humans, animals and environment
Coordinate with other related One Health Networks in region of South East Asia
New THOHUN branding has been designed in the same concept of the previous logo but in the proportion or size and quality as well as USAID and other logos of HUNs. The branding composes of symbolic elements that represented interconnection of animal, human and environment, which is represented by blue color THOHUN, denoting unity, collaborative effort, and holistic health. The Thai flag in the letter “O” infers Thai nationality and full name of network is in grey/green color and underneath the logo.
Identity of THOHUN can be seen from its logo composed of four symbolic elements, e.g. the animal and human footprints heading together to the same direction infers equality; the four-rays’ star of Clover leaf within the letter “U” denotes unity, initiative, fortune, and environment; the national flag circular ban hints the Thai identity; and the human holding hands together signifies collaboration.
The USAID One Health Workforce (OHW) Project, also launched in 2014, aims to achieve such a workforce transformation. Focusing on two infectious disease hot spot regions, Central and Eastern Africa and Southeast Asia, OHW strengthens training and educational programs in universities to create a skilled workforce in using a transdisciplinary approach known as One Health. The One Health approach brings together disciplines such as medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, nursing, ecology to work together to more effectively address emerging challenges at the interface of animals, humans and the environment. Emerging infectious diseases are one of the most pressing of such challenges.
In 2014, the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) was launched to “accelerate progress towards a world safe and secure from global health threats posed by infectious disease.” A central component of the GHSA strategy is building the capacity of the global health workforce to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging infectious diseases. Beyond the concentrated attention in the GHSA Action Package dedicated to workforce development, there are milestones throughout the 11 Action Packages which aim to equip a new, transformed, transdisciplinary workforce with the tools and capacities needed for quick detection, action and collaboration across sectors to prevent and stop disease where it starts.