The health of people, animals, plants and their environments are closely connected.
Think of zoonoses, plant pests, or other vector-borne diseases. Examples in human health are the well-known avian influenza and SARS epidemics, the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa; the global spread of Zika virus; and the alarming invasion of the American fall armyworm in Africa, which threatens food production. Understanding the factors that cause such outbreaks and how they interact is crucial to safeguard the health of people, animals and plants everywhere on the planet. An example: Antibiotic resistance is not a simple problem for which there is a simple solution. It is a complex conundrum that involves livestock farming, healthcare and consumer use but is also further complicated by the fact that bacteria are not hampered by borders in our globalised world. A Global One Health approach is needed to tackle this issue.
Global One Health
Controlling the risks of disease outbreaks and reducing endemic infectious diseases are crucial to food security, public health, climate change and biodiversity. We at WUR use the phrase ‘A Global One Health’, as it reflects the interconnectedness and global nature of health care for humans, animals, plants and the environment. Many health risks can be controlled through effective interventions addressing an adequate, safe and varied food supply, hygiene, medicines, vaccines, vector control, behavioural change strategies, crop protection or animal welfare.
A sustainable and shared approach requires an integrated analysis of health concerns and infectious diseases, with contributions from various knowledge domains. Through a system approach, we can provide an essential contribution to improving the health of people, animals and plants.
It is not enough to deal with single issues for single diseases, considering today’s highly interactive global linkages. Infectious diseases but also dietary and other health risks form a world-wide threat to human and animal, and environmental health. Prevention and the control of infectious diseases outbreaks is an important societal challenge. Diseases influence each other and have common drivers. Dealing with one issue has consequences for other issues, and we need to consider the interaction between for example human and animal diseases, the environment and human diseases, domestic animal and wildlife diseases, social changes and disease burden, economic development and diseases, and trade and diseases.
Another grand challenge is posed by antibiotic resistance. Prevention of resistance and development of novel therapeutics and treatment strategies is of world-wide importance. As the causes and possible solutions also include components of healthy human lifestyles, farming and healthy wildlife and ecosystem, a One Health approach is required to solve these major societal challenges.
The concept of Global One Health (GOH) emphasizes the interdependence between human health, the health of animals, plants and sustainable ecosystems from a global perspective. True 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 ecosystem sustainability into account. The Global One Health approach uses multiple disciplines to seek transnational solutions for improving the health of humans, animals and plants, and ultimately, the sustainability of the ecosystems of planet earth. Central hereby is that the Global One Health approach does not primarily aim at cure of diseases but merely at the prevention of diseases and the promotion of health.
The two-week training programme focuses on the different angles of Global One including the role of ecology and evolution, plant health, animal health, human health and food and nutrition security, epidemiology, economics. Different entry points for GOH action, policy and planning will be highlighted. This course has been developed by Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation and several Centres of Excellence within Wageningen University and Research, notably:
- Resource Ecology, Department of Environmental Sciences;
- Business Economics and Health and Society; Department of Social Sciences;
- Nutrition, Public Health and Sustainability, Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences;
- Virology, Wageningen Bio veterinary Research;
- Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology, Department of Animal Sciences.
Courses are currently online
Our courses are currently online and follow this format:
- Pre-course assignments for you to get to know WCDI and for us to get to know your work environment and your expectations in relation to the course;
- Interactive plenary sessions where we share contents, review assignment and facilitate exchanging experiences. During those interactive sessions we work with a number of online tools like Google Jamboard, Mural and Mentimeter;
- Group work either online or offline where you with other participants address a specific question or do an assignment. Results of these assignments are also shared and discussed during online sessions;
- Individual assignments where you will read literature, watch videos, and do excercises on your own. These assignments are an essential part of the learning and most of them count for getting the certificate. They are meant to introduce or deepen knowledge and make the link between theory and your own situation. These assignments are reviewed either by peers or facilitators.
In some, but not all, courses we go on virtual field visits – showing you ‘live’ situations in the field, or with companies or organizations that we collaborate with. We offer coaching trajectories where we support you one-on-one or in small groups to review your individual learning paths in the course and help with any basic questions you may have.
Online platforms: zoom and TalenLMS
Internet connection is important for the completion of the course. Not sure about the connection in your area? Send firstname.lastname@example.org an e-mail about your situation.
We use Zoom as a facilitating platform for all our online courses. Our courses take place in general over a 6-8 week period to make the workload and time you spend online manageable.
Our online learning system is TalentLMS. Everything you need — our course programme, chatrooms, assignments, background information are in this system. TalentLMS is easy to operate, can also be accessed by your phone and has an on-and offline functionality. We even organize a technical check-in before the course starts, to test your facilities and get familiar with the tools.
Course planning and certificates
The courses workload is approximately 16-20 hours a week (2-2.5 workdays).
The exact data of your course will be available 2-3 weeks prior to the start of the course. If you’ve successfully completed your course we send you a digital certificate.