Global Health Students Case Studies Competition: Global Health Students cases studies competition at momentary look

Tuesday, 6 June 2017 - 1:10pm
OHCEA Network Country: 

In 2012, the One Health Students Club of the University of Rwanda was launched with a composition of students from different disciplines to tackle public health challenges in Rwanda. One Health Club Rwanda is a team of students passionate to drive transformational changes in communities while working towards managing public health challenges at the interface of Human, Animal and Environment.

With support from OHCEA, University of Rwanda organized a 2-day Global Health Case study competition (GHCC) for Students in Kigali, 17th - 19th December, 2016 at Nobleza Hotel.

The purpose of this was to train the future one health workforce that is able to respond to global health threats in a multidisciplinary manner.

This was the first of its kind in the regional network; it was a competitive exercise for students to creatively address challenges within a limited time frame. The Global health case competition offered an opportunity to students to work in an innovative manner.  It was an enriching exercise which was full of sharing experiences from students coming from different programs of the University of Rwanda. This was un- usual in a sense that these students never interact during their course of study. Through global health case competitions, students creatively address critical global health challenges in a competitive and collaborative environment that simulates future workplace settings by requiring a multidisciplinary team composition.

The topic of the event was “A multidisciplinary approach of responding, treating and controlling disease outbreaks: a case of Ebola in Rwanda”.

Competencies that students can develop through this opportunity include:

  • Synthesizing information under pressure
  • Prioritizing issues
  • Recognizing and working within resource constraints
  • Working within and appreciating multidisciplinary teams
  • Integrating various perspectives and methods
  • Applying evidence-based decision-making to global health problems

Methodology:

Global Health case competition brought together 40 contestants (students) from the One Health Students Club. These came from different disciplines and 4 different campuses of the University of Rwanda. These included; UR-Nyagatare, UR- Huye, UR-Nyamishaba and UR-Nyarugenge campus. Faculty were identified to support these students who were grouped randomly in a multidisciplinary manner i.e. Veterinary Medicine (09 students) Wildlife and Aquatic Resources Management (03) Biotechnology (01), Botany and Conservation (01), General Medicine (03), Environmental (07), Nursing and Midwifery (04), Nutrition and Dietetics (01) and Biology (01).

The students were in 8 teams of 5 multi-disciplinary students with a faculty attached as a mentor. Four teams were put in separate rooms with different judges, their respective mentors and supervisors. Following that, the teams went in a common room for the semi-finals (the best 4 teams) and finals (the best 2 teams) from which the best was selected. The team of judges came from Government institutions that included; Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Rwanda Agricultural Board, Rwanda Development Board, USAID Mission, PREDICT, Private Public Health practitioners and few faculty.   The best team was given a Trophy, Medals and Bags to carry their computers as a way of thanking them for their efforts and commitment.

It was the first time the students participated in a competition of this nature which gave them a rare opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other. It also gave an insight to the students that fighting against disease spread and emergences requires multidisciplinary collaboration. Besides, the Global Health Case competition built students presentation, public speaking, leadership and communication skills.  It was a very good experience that other countries in the network should consider. University of Rwanda is planning to continue with the same at different campuses of UR to the benefit of those who never had the chance to participate in this competition.