Training of Future One Health Workforce at BSc level using One Health Modules at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Morogoro Tanzania

Friday, 7 July 2017 - 12:00am
OHCEA Network Country: 
The students pose for a group photo after the receiving their certificates for the training

Increasing enrollment in universities and the limited available resources and infrastructure for adequate training in health-related subjects have made it difficult for students to practice using the One Health approach upon graduation. OHCEA has provided opportunities for these students to practice One Health approaches through the USAID OHW project whereby modules on infectious disease prevention, detection, and response are being provided to students outside class hours until such time they can be incorporated into their regular curriculums. The modules include practicums in the field where human health students, animal health students and environmental students work together to solve complex problems facing populations living in geographical hot-spots for EPTs.

OHCEA Tanzania organized a training for undergraduate students using One Health Modules at Sokoine University of Agriculture. The training was held 27th February – 4th March 2017 at SUA campus. The purpose of the training was to equip Bsc. students with knowledge and skills on how to translate theory into practice to enable them to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases outbreaks; as well as to combat health challenges, such as the emerging public health non-infectious issues like AMR and Endocrine Disruptors. The long-term strategy of this training is to equip students with OH concepts and practices in the short-term while plans are underway to incorporate OH modules into their regular curricula.

During the training, 64 future OHW undergraduates at the BSc level at SUA were trained by offering OH modules for 30 hours (10 hours per module) taught for 6 days. The course was taught by 9 instructors from SUA and MUHAS.

The objectives of the training were well-fulfilled. The trainees (BSc students) as the One Health Work Force positively received the training and promised to make use of what they leant during the six days trainings. They were all happy to be enlightened on Concepts of One Health, One Health Competencies and Domains. The approaches on infectious disease detection, prevention, and response; zoonotic diseases; and solving problems like Antimicrobial Resistance and Endocrine Disruptors using One Health approach were well received by the students.

One lesson learned is that students at BSc level are eager to use One Health approach in solving different health problems in animals, humans and environment. Such training have to be conducted on annual basis and to make them sustainable, the module have to be incorporated in the undergraduate curricula.

Participants gained knowledge, specifically in the use of One Health approach in prevention, control and eradication of diseases, Risk Analysis Framework (Risk Assessment, Risk Communication and Risk Management) with the focus on Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) zoonotic diseases, emerging public health non-infectious issues like AMR, Endocrine Disruptors. In addition, participants were exposed to detailed coverage on Risk Communication, Leadership skills, Skills for building interdisciplinary teams and Communication skills.

Most of the participants will work as veterinary doctors, livestock officers and some of them as wildlife officers and teachers, upon graduation. These will be the champions of One Health in their respective fields.