Infectious and non-communicable diseases in humans, animals, and plants, are inherent to life on Earth. During human history, much has been achieved in the control of diseases, leading to significant advances in human health and agricultural productivity. However, new diseases continue to emerge and these are major stumbling blocks to prosperity. As such, they are an important determinant of the quality of life and a measure of inequality in the world. Lowering the disease burden should be a worldwide goal, and requires us to further improve our approach towards managing diseases.
Considering today’s multicausal aetiology, burden of disease, planetary boundaries, and highly interactive global linkages, it does not suffice to deal with single issues for single diseases anymore. Clearly, a systems approach is called for, in which complex systems are studied within various disciplines and at various scales. Hence, we need to consider important interactions between, for example, human and animal diseases, the environment and human diseases, domestic animal and wildlife diseases, human behaviour and social changes and disease burden, economic development and diseases, and trade and diseases. These interactions have gained cognition in the current One Health Concept and Global Health Concept. Wageningen University integrates these concepts in a wider approach, namely Global One Health (GOH), to emphasize the interdependence of human health with the health of animals, plants and sustainable ecosystems from a global perspective. Sustainable prosperity and security will only be reached if we weigh all possible effects of interventions on the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment, while taking global ecosystem sustainability into account. The GOH approach uses multiple disciplines to seek local, national and regional solutions for improving the health of humans, animals, and plants, and ultimately, the sustainability of the ecosystems of planet Earth. To prepare the future professional for these challenges, we have defined a set of four interconnected courses that cover the essential aspects of Global One Health.
After successful completion of this minor students are expected to be able to:
- understand basic concepts in health research (burden of disease, health governance, social justice, health equity, systems approach) and be able to explain/give examples of the role of nutrition, food safety, and interactions between humans, animals and their environment to health;
- understand the close connection between human, plant, animal and environmental health, and be aware of the most important themes within Global One Health, such as antibiotic resistance, emerging infectious diseases, healthy farming and wildlife health;
- apply skills to discuss and integrate potentially conflicting criteria and values (healthy, sustainable, affordable, ethical) when considering solutions for global one health problems;
- apply a systems approach to Global One Health issues, including food systems, life styles, mitigation strategies and decision support;
- implement a multidisciplinary approach for selected GOH problems.
All WU BSc students (i.e. not restricted from any program) who would like to obtain knowledge and develop skills in employing multidisciplinary approaches for tackling complex health issues and who want to prepare themselves for a career in which the complex interplay between One Health themes, such as antibiotic resistance, food safety, emerging infectious diseases, will play an important role. Students that have a special interest in expanding their vision from the life sciences to the social sciences or vice versa, are especially encouraged to follow the minor.
Second semester (period 4, 5 and 6)
Programme or thematic