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Development of One Health Courses in the Philippines

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Development of One Health Courses for Graduate Programs in Public Health and Short Course for Continuing Professional Development

There have been limited capacity-building activities on One Health in the Philippines that bring together professionals from multiple disciplines. To address this, the University of the Philippines Manila - College of Public Health, SEAMEO TROPMED Regional Centre for Public Health, Hospital Administration, Environmental and Occupational Health, in collaboration with the Philippine One Health University Network and Southeast Asian One Health University Network led a project aiming to establish basic training and education on prioritized One Health core competencies and technical skills through the development of One Health courses.

A curriculum for an elective course for Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Public Health, and other graduate programs in relevant disciplines, entitled Fundamentals of One Health, was developed by the project team and reviewed by a team of global experts on One Health. The introductory course on One Health will cover its concept, scope, and applications; describe the challenges and opportunities in applying the One Health approach to achieve better public health outcomes; and, integrate learnings on interrelatedness of human, animal, and environmental health as basis for enhancement of health policy and service delivery.

A three-day short course entitled “Introduction to One Health” for health, allied health, and other collaborating professionals from higher education institutions, as well as relevant government agencies and non-government organizations, was also developed by a multidisciplinary group of experts in human, animal, and environmental health. The short course was conducted from May 4-6, 2021 with 11 lectures covering topics such as basic principles of One Health; its importance in the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases; the interrelatedness of human, animal. and environmental health; the applications of One Health; as well as the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration. A total of 136 participants from 15 of the 17 administrative regions of the Philippines attended, coming from a broad range of disciplines including medicine, allied health, veterinary medicine, agriculture, education, and social science.

The short course was held online, utilizing digital tools such as Zoom, Google Forms, and other interactive tools, as an alternative to face-to-face learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and enabled participants from various regions to attend remotely. The course received generally positive feedback on excellence of the lecturers and relevance of the topics, and statistically significant improvement was noted in the mean, median, and the minimum test scores of the participants at the end of the course, suggesting increased familiarity with the concepts of One Health that were included.

Dr. Vipat Kuruchittham, SEAOHUN Executive Director; Dr. Vicente Y. Belizario Jr., UP CPH / TROPMED Philippines Dean and Centre Director; Dr. Michael L. Tee, PhilOHUN Chair; and, Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, UP Manila Chancellor giving their closing messages for the participants of “Introduction to One Health”.

Scaling up and engaging more universities in offering the course as part of continuing education for health, allied health, and collaborating professionals is a next step in building One Health in the Philippines. This first One Health capacity-building initiative is a milestone which further opens doors for the advancement of the One Health agenda in the country.

This Philippines's map showing the geographic distribution of participants in the One Health short course “Introduction to One Health”

SEAOHUN 2020 Small Grants

Project team leader: Dr. Vicente Belizario, Jr. (University of the Philippines Manila)

Team members: Dr. Maria Margarita Lota (University of the Philippines Manila)

Prof. Myra S. Mistica ( University of the Philippines Manila)

Dr. Rohani C. Navarro ( University of the Philippines Manila)

Dr. Vachel Gay V. Paller (University of the Philippines Los Baños)

Dr. Sofia Anne Marie M. Ampo ( University of the Philippines Manila)

- Personal protective equipment, distancing, and group size standards in this photo were consistent with local public health guidance and COVID-19 status in the specific country and time it was taken. This may not reflect best practices for all locations where COVID-19 is still spreading. -


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