Building a strong and resilient One Health Workforce is a priority for MyOHUN. Involving students in One Health-based activity is one of the most effective means to better prepare them to prevent, fight and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in the future. MyOHUN established One Health Student Clubs as part of the network in 2016 and currently has eight OHSCs in Malaysia.
As one may say, “education is the path to innovation”. OHSCs help to empower students with vital One Health competencies before they graduate. Furthermore, by educating the next generation of One Health workforce, the views and values of tomorrow’s society will be strengthened on the concepts and practices of One Health. The current COVID-19 pandemic best illustrates the importance and need to better equip our future One Health workforce that benefits the human-animal-environment interaction.
MyOHUN’s student-based activities, such as In-Situ Problem Based Learning and One Health Young Leaders and Communicators, have moulded students’ understanding of One Health and multidisciplinary approach at the basic level. Through OHSCs, which consist of activities on zoonotic diseases transmission and prevention, community outreach programs in rural areas with indigenous people, seminars and forums on One Health provide and enhance a strong educational experience for students to appreciate and understand that a multidisciplinary approach to solving problems will have a more unified outcome.
Recently, a team of Malaysian students named Panthera Tigris, won the SEAOHUN Students’ Regional Competition 2021 (national level) and the Public Pick Award (international level).Their video talked about environmental degradation, wildlife in the ecosystem, and zoonotic disease outbreaks reached more than 39,000 views on YouTube. This risk-awareness video and its success istangible proof of the widespread influence of OHSC activities.
Last year, Ainaa Sabihah Binti Mohamed Anuar from Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) won first prize in the Poster Category for the SEAOHUN COVID-19 Digital Awareness Challenge. She was inspired to join the competition after participating in the One Health Young Leaders and Communicators activity which helped her understand and value the importance of One Health.
“I realize that there are more responsibilities ahead of me in terms of educating the public about zoonosis and the One Health approach.” Ainaa Sabihah stated when asked about what she had gained from the MyOHUN activities.
Students' creativity and enthusiasm to embrace One Health indirectly influence younger generations on the importance of working together hand-in-hand. MyOHUN will continue to invest in educating the next generation to ensure a strong, resilient, and reliant One Health workforce. As the saying goes, “if you want a better future, invest now!”