What is One Health?
One Health (OH) is an approach that promotes that concept that animal, environment, and human health are intrinsically linked. That to ensure optimal health, professional within these different spheres must work together, with a trans-disciplinary approach, to tackle different types of health challengers. OH advocates propose that for any intervention within the above mentioned health spheres, there is either a direct or indirect knock on effect in the other health spheres and that a OH approach will help mitigate the negative effects.
By utilizing an OH approach, there is ultimately an improvement in health outcomes that could not be achieved if professional work independently of each other.
One Health at the Faculty of Veterinary Science
At the Faculty of Veterinary Science (FVS) the One Health Platform (OHP) is divided into two main aspects which are teaching and research.
The OH concept and associated skills are taught to undergraduate veterinary students utilising both a theoretical and practical approach. Students are first introduced to the concept in their third year of studies and receive an intensive OH focus module in their fifth year of studies. During their clinical rotations that can experience the OH approach in action through rotations that take them to Hluvukani animal clinic which is situated at the intersection of human-livestock-wildlife interfaces. They also are expose to OH problems through various other clinical rotations.
For postgraduate studies the FVS offers a MSc in Tropical Animal Health in collaboration with ITM. The program weaves the OH approach throughout the course, ensuring students understand and gain skills to implement the OH approach into daily activities. Students taking part in this program are brought together in person to evaluate the Mnisi Community Program (MCP) and different OH problem that arise.
The OHP provides both training and infrastructure support for researchers.
The Hans Hoheisen Wildlife Research Station (HHWRS) and MCP provides various infrastructure such as laboratories, animal holding facilities and housing along with long standing trust with local communities in a conservation area. This makes it an ideal place for both short-term and long-term research project, with support and local knowledge to ensure a smooth research journey
At the FVS campus based in Pretoria, various project researching different OH problems are ongoing. These range from zoonotic disease to anti-microbial resistance.