Kenya Students Conduct Community Outreach Programs & Outbreak Response

Friday, 25 August 2017 - 9:58am
OHCEA Network Country: 
Students pose for a group photo

One Health intervention strategies requires multiple disciplines to work together in predicting, responding, preventing and identifying one health challenges within the communities. The current training of undergraduate students limits interdisciplinary interactions often with limited practical exposure.  The approach of the University of Nairobi and Moi University One Health Clubs is to involve a team of students from multiple disciplines in practical hands-on activities at the community level. The activities provide students with exposure to One Health issues at the humans-animals-environment interface and in so doing inculcate team work, leadership and collaborative approaches.

In order to carry out this exercise, the training session were held in two phases. Phase One involved indoor training of students on “Community education and human-wildlife conflict management” and “Public Health Perspective on ‘One Health’ in Nakuru County”. Phase Two involved outdoor training inside the park. To facilitate Phase Two of the training, four multidisciplinary teams of between 22 -23 students (constituting of veterinary, medical, Dentistry, nursing and public health) were assigned different One Health thematic areas to identify the current/ potential causes of One Health challenges as well as the current/ proposed interventions. These thematic areas included Climate Change, Human-Wildlife conflict, Pollution and Infectious Diseases.

Students were guided by the available faculty but they conducted the exercise themselves and presented their findings on current/ potential causes of One Health challenge(s), current interventions and/or proposed interventions to address the challenges.

The goals and objectives of the exercise were;

  • Build skills in cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary team building, team work and communication
  • Build skills in infectious disease prevention, detection and response and field management of infectious disease threats
  • Expose the students to practical One Health challenges and interventions at Human, Animal and Environmental inter-phase
  • Allow for student to extend learning and develop solutions to One Health challenges.

The indoor training was made possible through facilitation of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Nakuru County Government (NCG) officers. During the outdoor training which involves drives and stops around the park, participants were able to identify One Health challenges, existing interventions and proposed interventions that can be employed. This was achieved through four groups focusing on varied thematic areas. Group members were of varied disciplines which encourage team work and cooperation.