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One Health: Connecting Humans, Animals and the Environment

Become familiar with One Health, a promising concept, and the effective solutions it provides to urgent health problems.

9,679 enrolled on this course

One Health: Connecting Humans, Animals and the Environment
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours

In our globalised world, new approaches to preventing, treating and controlling diseases are urgently needed. New illnesses seem to spread faster than ever thanks to interconnected ecosystems and the close connections between humans and animals. Stressing this interconnectedness, One Health seeks an integrative approach to human and animal health. This course will explore this approach and examine the value of it - as well as explain how One Health strategies work in practice.

In this free online course, we will attempt to answer some key questions, including:

  • What are the many advantages of a closer cooperation between human and animal health?
  • What transdisciplinary processes can be set up to solve a particular One Health problem efficiently?
Understand the concept of One Health

The One Health concept has gained momentum in recent decades, spurred for instance by the Avian Influenza pandemic or by concerns regarding wildlife conservation. Growing interest and practical engagement in academia, non-governmental organisations and national and local governments can be observed widely. After this course you’ll be able to not only explain what One Health is, you’ll be able to explain how this engagement is carried out, for example in collection of vaccination coverage data or food safety enhancement. In addition you’ll also be able to reflect on interdisciplinary ideas that can solve everyday One Health problems.

Explore the value of One Health

Practicing One Health not only improves human and animal health but also allows considerable financial savings and contributes to a better environment. This value cannot be achieved working alone, but rather is a triumph of truly interdisciplinary and intersectoral work. The course reflects this and brings together different disciplines in a selection of case studies, demonstrating the advantages of a closer cooperation between human and animal health and social and cultural sciences. You will learn how to calculate the added value resulting from this approach.

We are very happy to announce that in this course you may take part in a competition in order to win one of three travel grants. Those grants will allow you to come to Switzerland for one week and visit an interesting program.

Learning outcomes
  • Summarise the many advantages of a closer cooperation between human and animal health.
  • Describe the fundamental principles of cross-sector human and animal health economics.
  • Explain how the transmission of diseases from livestock to human via food can be prevented.
  • Discuss the environmental policy and law that supports food safety.
  • Debate how food safety can benefit from One Health.
  • Develop ideas for transdisciplinary processes that can solve an everyday One Health problem.
  • Reflect on the problems that arise from poor communication between human doctors and veterinarians.
  • Investigate social-ecological perspectives for the improvement of human and animal well-being.
  • Identify the rabies problem in the World and the potential for its elimination in Africa.
  • Investigate through practical case studies the collection of vaccination coverage data.
  • Calculate matrices to describe growth rates of populations.
  • Interpret tables of vaccination coverage data.
  • Calculate transmission dynamics of diseases between humans and animals.
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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds Did you ever wonder how the animal-human relationship affects our health? Or did you ever wonder why human and animals are treated in separate hospitals?

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 seconds A developing concept, One Health overcomes narrow disciplinary boundaries and helps to prepare the health systems of the future; one that takes into account ecology, culture, veterinary and human medicine, and brings them together in order to heal.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 seconds This course invites you to broaden your understanding of the human-animal relationship, and the health issues relating to it.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds Throughout this course, you will become aware of the shortfalls arising from situations in which segmented medical disciplines do not cooperate.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds One Health means the collaboration between different disciplines and different sectors. What those disciplines and sectors can gain if they work together, or what they can lose if they work in separation. One Health is the added value of a closer cooperation of human and animal health. Real-world One Health was, for me, when a nurse and a veterinary technician in a rural village in Africa said, we just don’t know why we haven’t done this earlier together. And this was after they had organised together outreach vaccination campaigns.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds After this course, you will understand how such joint vaccination campaigns improve our health, and how the One Health concept helps to ensure food safety, and to address risks and hazards at informal markets. Furthermore, the course encourages you to become aware of how different beliefs and disciplinary perspectives influence, not only a certain problem, but also enable its solution. The One Health concept offers practical strategies to the solution of diverse health issues; for example, which disciplines and stakeholders should be involved if you want to address a given health problem. If One Health is applied, we not only have better means to control emerging diseases, like Ebola or rabies, there are also financial savings and environmental improvements.

Skip to 2 minutes and 36 seconds Join us in envisioning health systems of the future. We look forward to seeing you soon!

What topics will you cover?

  • Advantages of a closer cooperation between human and animal health
  • Transdisciplinary processes that can solve an everyday One Health problem
  • Shortfalls resulting from poor communication between human doctors and veterinarians
  • Social-ecological perspectives for the improvement of human and animal well-being
  • Fundamental principles of cross-sector human and animal health economics
  • Environmental policy and law that supports food safety
  • Prevention of diseases from livestock to human via food
  • Matrix calculations to describe growth rates of populations
  • Principles of disease transmission dynamics between humans and animals
  • Collection of vaccination coverage data
  • Interpretation of vaccination coverage data
  • The rabies problem in the World and the potential for its elimination in Africa

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Summarise the many advantages of a closer cooperation between human and animal health.
  • Describe the fundamental principles of cross-sector human and animal health economics.
  • Explain how the transmission of diseases from livestock to human via food can be prevented.
  • Discuss the environmental policy and law that supports food safety.
  • Debate how food safety can benefit from One Health.
  • Develop ideas for transdisciplinary processes that can solve an everyday One Health problem.
  • Reflect on the problems that arise from poor communication between human doctors and veterinarians.
  • Investigate social-ecological perspectives for the improvement of human and animal well-being.
  • Identify the rabies problem in the World and the potential for its elimination in Africa.
  • Investigate through practical case studies the collection of vaccination coverage data.
  • Calculate matrices to describe growth rates of populations.
  • Interpret tables of vaccination coverage data.
  • Calculate transmission dynamics of diseases between humans and animals

Who is the course for?

The only thing you need to bring to this course is an interest in the relationship between human and animals in different cultures. You don’t need prior knowledge of human or veterinary medicine to benefit from this course - it addresses non-professionals as well as health professionals and those working in politics, NGOs, and students of veterinary and human medicine throughout the world.

What do people say about this course?

"This was the best One Health course I have experienced so far, and I will absolutely recommend it to everyone. "

Who will you learn with?

Professor of Epidemiology at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and the University of Basel, Switzerland.

I'm a vet by training and now the leader of the Mobile Populations and Health research group of the Human and Animal Health Studies unit at Swiss TPH. I mainly work in Africa, Asia and Switzerland.

Veterinary-Epidemiologist, working in the area of capacity building in One Health by addressing risk analysis and zoonoses control and elimination pathways in Africa.

Who developed the course?

University of Basel

The University of Basel has an international reputation of outstanding achievements in research and teaching.

Supporters

content provided by

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute logo

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