The One Health Epidemiology Fellowship Program is being implemented in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal as part of the One Health Program in Asia (EuropeAid/ 133708/C/ACT/Multi; Contract DCI-ASIE/2013/331-217) funded by the European Union. The two-year Fellowship Program will be delivered jointly by Massey University of New Zealand and selected collaborating institutions in each of the participating countries as a full-time postgraduate education and applied training program in which a cohort of six participants from the human health, domestic animal health, and wildlife health sectors in each country study and work together from October 2014 to October 2016.
The One Health Epidemiology Fellowship Program has four major components:
- Master’s degree education in epidemiology and biosecurity.
- Professional engagement with faculty, postgraduate and undergraduate students in the participating institutions, with related government sectors and with other One Health professionals in the SAARC region.
- Applied epidemiology research involving situation assessments, field studies and evaluation of disease control strategies for priority zoonotic diseases in each country using a multi-sectoral approach.
- Training the trainer, in which Fellows will design a One Health epidemiology and/or zoonotic disease control curriculum and prepare suitable training materials for undergraduate, postgraduate and/or in-service training of health professionals in their country.
The overarching design principle is “integrating education and action for One Health”, combining education, applied research, professional engagement and training-the-trainer components.
The Master’s degree component will be administered and conferred by Massey University as an integral part of the overarching One Health Epidemiology Fellowship, which will be awarded jointly by Massey University and the collaborating institutions upon successful completion of the full two-year program.
Fellows will study and work together as a cohort, based at the primary collaborating institution (the ‘host organisation’) in each country, with visits from and to the other collaborating institutions as necessary. The program utilises a mixed-mode of delivery including Massey University’s distance learning environment (Stream), face-to-face cohort study, daily tutoring via on-line discussion groups, skype and interactive webinar sessions, applied epidemiology research guided by Massey University with face-to-face supervision and mentoring by collaborating institution faculty and a Regional Coordinator, as well as face-to-face teaching by Massey University staff and international experts through a series of regional workshops.
The Fellows will engage with faculty, undergraduate and postgraduate students of the collaborating institutions through regular meetings and discussion groups, and the delivery of seminars and guest lectures on current topics. The Fellows will also engage with the relevant government sector departments and institutions on the applied epidemiology research and training-the-trainer components.
The six participants in each of the four participating countries will work together on aspects of the Program as a regional cohort of 24, and contribute actively to the One Health Network South Asia.
Zoonoses are diseases transmitted from animals and wildlife to people, and have a major impact on animal and human health, particularly in rural and peri-urban populations in countries of Asia and Africa. Current methods used for setting national priorities for health interventions tend to underestimate their importance, both as a source of impaired health and as a factor influencing food security. Zoonoses also represent the principal source of emerging infectious diseases, which can have serious national and in some cases global economic and social effects.
There is a need to develop better methods of assessing the significance of zoonoses and appropriate management strategies at national and regional levels, which in turn requires investment in training people to carry out such evaluations and to implement control strategies.
This program is designed to sustainably strengthen capacity and capability by delivering postgraduate training to individuals to carry out disease evaluations and implement control strategies in collaboration with key institutes in each participating country. It also aims to build the capacity of these institutes through the transfer skills, knowledge and teaching materials, to facilitate ongoing training in the One Health management of zoonotic diseases at undergraduate, postgraduate and in-service training levels.
The overall aim of the program is to improve the livelihoods of people who are at-risk of becoming infected with zoonotic diseases through strengthening the epidemiology skills and collaboration among the human, animal, and wildlife health sectors to more effectively detect and manage emerging and endemic zoonotic diseases.
The specific objectives of the fellowship program are:
- To provide formal postgraduate training in human, animal, and wildlife disease epidemiology.
- To undertake pilot investigations of zoonoses and determine cost-effective surveillance and control strategies coordinated across human, domestic animal and/or wildlife species.
- To strengthen capacity and capability of tertiary education institutes in each country to deliver training in One Health management of zoonotic diseases at undergraduate, postgraduate and in-service training levels.
- To build and strengthen collaborative relationships between professionals working within the human, domestic animal and wildlife health sectors in each country and regionally by integrating project participants into existing regional One Health networks.
This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Massey University.