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SEAOHUN 2022 Student Summit: Fostering One Health Leaders

The SEAOHUN 2022 Student Summit (3-5 September 2022), one of the preceding events of SEAOHUN 2022 International Conference was hosted by Kasetsart University (KU), Kamphaeng Saen campus, in collaboration with Thailand One Health University Network (THOHUN), and with the support from Chevron through the Strengthening One Health Education in Southeast Asia project. With the theme of “Fostering One Health Leaders”, the summit brought together a total of 41 participants (34 students and 7 faculty advisors) from different One Health disciplines from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“Amazing experience with students from a variety of cultures and professions. Received theoretical information and also real-world experiences. We improved our One-Health core competencies through fun and inspiring activities. Definitely my pleasure and honor to participate in this event.” – Ms. Stephanie Chou, Student, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.

On the afternoon of 3 September, ice-breaking activities (fun marshmallow tower building challenge), One Health introduction lectures and case-based problem-solving exercises were organized to warm up students for the following two days. The welcome dinner followed later that night, showcasing a Thai Boxing (Muay Thai) special performance from KU students and cultural exchange performances from the eight country teams, bringing the students closer with colorful traditional dances and songs.

The summit was officially opened on 4 September with warm welcome remarks from representatives of host and partner organizations, accompanied by graceful Thai Cultural dance performances from KU students. On that day, the students were mixed into four groups, joining field visits to four local farms with respective group assignments of on-site learning. Each group visited one plant farm (tomato or orchid) and one aquaculture farm (shrimp or goldfish). The students gained practical knowledge by learning the production process (plant farms), identifying possible risks and food security issues (aquaculture farms) from a One Health perspective.

“The Student Summit bridges the students throughout Asia to exchange their experiences and cultures while creates the next generation of One Health workforce. These students will protect our world from future pandemic threats” - Dr. Terdsak Yano, Faculty Advisor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

On the last day, the students displayed their excellent teamwork through group presentations of their field visit experiences by applying the theoretical and practical One Health knowledge gained during the last two days. The presentations were followed by discussions and valuable feedback from lecturers and facilitators of THOHUN before wrapping up with the certificate awarding ceremony.

The in-person event was filled with fun activities of team building exercises, interactive learning at the campus as well as practical field visits to local farms. The students had the opportunity to learn and expand their knowledge in technical and soft skills, including systems thinking and communications.

Despite the language and cultural boundaries, the students from different parts of the region bonded in no time while working together, learning each other’s cultures, building friendships and strengthening their professional networks. Hosting these events is an essential part of SEAOHUN’s student engagement work to foster students in our region to become future One Health Leaders.


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