Building a skillful, competent One Health workforce in Cambodia

Combating outbreaks such as SARS, H5N1, H1N1, Ebola, and Zika or diseases moving between animals and human requires a skillful and competent One Health workforce with technical and cross-sectoral competencies. With the support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN) in collaboration with the One Health Workforce project has begun to raise awareness of One Health approach, identify and address some of the capacity gaps of faculty members, national trainers, and in-service and pre-service professionals in Cambodia.

“ My communication, collaborative and teamwork skills have been improved after

participating in the One Health training.

This skill set is very important in

multidisciplinary efforts such as Participatory Epidemiology to solve health issues. ” 

Mr. Seang Sok Heng, Faculty Member, University of Health Sciences

The Cambodia One Health Workforce Planning workshop to identify and prioritize One Health workforce development needs in Cambodia on 26-28 March 2019

In two years, SEAOHUN and its partners provided a series of One Health training to strengthen technical and cross-sectoral competencies benefiting 114 faculty members and national trainers, 112 in-service health professionals, and 459 pre-service health professionals. Consequently, four faculty members were certified as Master Trainers on Participatory Epidemiology by the Participatory Epidemiology Network for Animal and Public Health. 

 

“ One Health activities help me connect and work together with other students from other fields and schools

and also teach me to think broadly. My communication skill is gradually improving. ”

 

Miss Moun Sreypich, Public Health student, University of Health Sciences

Celebrating One Health Day at PNCA on 26 October 2018

Key government and university partners participating in the capacity building include Cambodia Communicable Disease Control Department and its Applied Epidemiology Training (AET) program, General Directorate of Animal Health and Production and its Cambodia Applied Veterinary Epidemiology Training (CAVET) program, Prekleap National College of Agriculture (PNCA), University of Health Sciences (UHS), Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), and National Institute of Public Health (NIPH). Through advocacy, SEAOHUN successfully fostered the establishment of Cambodia One Health University Network (CAMBOHUN) with PNCA, UHS, and RUA committing to work together to build the next generation of One Health workforce in Cambodia. Additionally, NIPH prepared an elective course titled 'Introduction to One Health' for its new Master of Health and Community Development. A group telegram was setup among AET and CAVET participants to better communicate and collaborate between human health and animal health sectors. Furthermore, collaboration among universities and between universities and government agencies has improved with joint training.

SEAOHUN also supported 24 faculty members and national trainers and 7 pre-service health professionals to gain more experience on One Health abroad. Moreover, SEAOHUN supported 3 faculty members for long-term professional development through its scholarship and fellowship program. Furthermore, SEAOHUN organized a series of events to raise awareness of One Health approach at all the four partnered institutions and to celebrate global campaigns called One Health Day and World Rabies Day. These raising awareness events enhancing One Health knowledge and practical skills were participated by 514 pre-service health professionals and 56 faculty members and national trainers.

“ Increasing meat consumption in Cambodia enables high frequency of animal, human, and environment interactions. This could consequently lead to complex health problems mainly zoonotic and some infectious diseases. Solving these problems requires an inter-disciplinary approach. CAMBOHUN is established to prepare a future-ready workforce capable of working across different disciplines to address these complex health challenges. ” 

Dr. Thun Vathana, Chairperson of CAMBOHUN

The development work of One Health workforce has just begun in Cambodia. SEAOHUN in collaboration with CAMBOHUN hope to mobilize resources to continue to create a skillful and competent One Health workforce in Cambodia.

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