How the One Health Approach Became a Part of Self-Exploration
“The One Health approach is the bridge between veterinary medicine, human health, environment, and conservation. The fellowship was my journey to such knowledge and self-development. Along the way, I found my motivation in using One Health and obtained valuable lessons that I would like to share with others in order to inspire them. My aspirations are to contribute to wildlife protection and meet more One Health colleagues that walk the same path as I do.” - Thanh Duy Vo, SEAOHUN 2021 Fellow
Despite the continuation of COVID-19 in 2021, SEAOHUN’s fellowship program continued to thrive as we learned how to effectively develop the program under these difficult circumstances. Potential fellows were prepared for both virtual and hand-on experience with experts and leading organizations in the field.
In July 2021, Vietnamese veterinarian Thanh Duy Vo successfully applied for the SEAOHUN fellowship program. At the time, he was doing research on zoonotic diseases in primates and developed a passion for wildlife health ever since. From the mountainous area of Cuc Phuong National Park, he carried his dedication into his fellowship.
The SEAOHUN 2021 fellowship took place at the Wildlife Conservation Society Vietnam (WCS Vietnam), located in Hanoi. WCS Vietnam is one of the leading organizations in wildlife conservation and combating illegal wildlife trade, along with their actions in research and education. Under the supervision of Ms. Hoang Bich Thuy, Thanh involved in many hands-on activities with his colleagues from the wildlife health team of WCS Vietnam. With his research interests in zoonotic diseases, Thanh was able to dive deeper into this subject and learned to integrate One Health into his work such as conducting disease surveillance activities. He also received guidance from One Health experts working with WCS in other countries. By the end of the fellowship, Thanh developed a risk assessment database in wildlife and created a training video for rodent sampling with the team.
Thanh continued, “Not only did I see improvements in my technical skills, the fellowship at WCS Vietnam made me a better person. The transparent and collaborative work environment created the opportunity that I needed to overcome hardships and expand my comfort zone gradually.”