Thailand One Health University Network
ONE HEALTH IN THE VIRTUAL PARK: INCREASING KNOWLEAGE AND AWARENESS OF THE PUBLIC ON HEALTH ISSUES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda have spread from several sources of media and rapidly shared on social networks. This phenomena exacerbates the COVID-19 situation and may cause difficulties in the COVID-19 management and harm to public security. Thailand One Health University Network (THOHUN) initiated “One Health in the Park” to increase One Health (OH) knowledge through risk communication events for the public and to develop the visibility of OH and THOHUN to Thai society.
This monthly activity takes the form of a talk show or a debate of multi-disciplinary experts, influencers, and stakeholders on COVID-19 and other interested public health parties in Thai society. These events will usually be organized in open-air spaces or parks. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the format was completely transformed to be live-stream broadcasted through social media, THOHUN, and partner’s websites. Question and answer sessions were provided and became an effective way of encouraging interaction between the speakers and the audience whenever clarifications were needed. After the events, the presentations were edited to highlight the information presented during the event and to communicate with a specific audience, through the THOHUN’s Facebook fan page, Perceptia blog, and online news agencies. Publication of the post-event articles is not only a mechanism to advocate for THOHUN’s activities but also intends to inspire people who could not attend the event and motivate them to participate in the future.
The topic for the kickoff event in July 2021 was “Ideal COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccines that are suitable for Thailand’s context,” which, for obvious reasons, is of current interest for the public. Through this topic, THOHUN gathered a total of 8,233 views and 160 persons connected simultaneously during the peak live viewers.
THOHUN looks forward to more people attending the live events in the future and accessing the recorded Facebook live video posted at the THOHUN’s Facebook fanpage:
https://www.facebook.com/NCOTHOHUN Responses and feedback of this first event were beyond THOHUN’s expectations with very positive comments from the participants and viewers. This initial event will be an effective platform for the reciprocal communication and engagement of THOHUN, health care providers, and public health administrators with the public regarding emerging infectious diseases
The Thailand One Health University Network or THOHUN was officially established in August 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The establishment of the network was supported under the Emerging Pandemic Threats program funded by USAID to build regional, national and local One Health capacities for early disease detection, prevention, rapid response and containment, and risk reduction.
The One Health approach is a global strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communication in all aspects of health for humans, animals, and the environment.
Building multidisciplinary trainers
THOHUN has created a multidisciplinary group of trainers that can deliver a variety of One Health short courses and mapping workshops, through a training of trainers. THOHUN’s trainers can develop capacities in leadership, technical skills, systems thinking, facilitating/training, and coordinating skills, which are all vital in developing Thailand’s One Health workforce.
THOHUN , together with One Health workforce, SEAOHUN and member universities, is dedicated to the continuous development of OH workforces, both current and future, to strengthen responses to emerging infectious diseases.
Current workforce development
One Health core competency domains for current Thai workforce /government professionals have been identified, which serve as the crucial framework for Thai ministries to define and develop specific core competencies to enhance the capacity of current workforces to respond to outbreaks. Workshops on coordination for rabies response, training health volunteers on One Health, modules on antimicrobial resistance, and many other activities have been developed towards strengthening the capacity of Thailand’s current workforce.
Future workforce development
Among other training platforms, THOHUN developed a field-based One Health core competency teaching platform called THOHUN-TELI, aimed at strengthening the skills of future Thai and regional One Health workforces, through hands-on learning. In 2019, a student One Health camp for rabies control was developed to build core competencies in risk communication, community engagement, and other important skills required for Thai students to respond to outbreaks, using rabies as a model disease.
THOHUN focuses on pre-service workforce training and strengthening outbreak response capacity. It collaboratively works with university partners. THOHUN has comprised 10 universities and 22 faculties around the country
Chiang Mai University* (Faculty of Associate Medical Sciences Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Nursing*, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Public Health
Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine*)
Chulabhorn Royal Academy (Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Science)
Chulalongkorn University (College of Public Health Sciences Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science)
Kasetsart University (Faculty of Education, Faculty of Environment, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Faculty of Veterinary Technology)
Khon Kaen University (Faculty of Associate Medical Sciences Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty of Public Health,
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)
Mahasarakham University (Faculty of Architecture Urban Design and Creative Arts, Faculty of Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Science)
Mahidol University* (ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Faculty of Nursing Faculty of Public Health, Faculty of Tropical Medicine*, Faculty of Veterinary Science*)
Prince of Songkla University (Faculty of Environmental Management, Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science)
Thammasart University (Faculty of Public Health, The School of Global Studies)
Walailak University (Akkhraratchakumari Veterinary College, International College of Dentistry, School of Agricultural Technology, School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Architecture and Design, School of Engineering and Resources School of Informatics, School of Liberal Arts, School of Management, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, School of Political Science and Law School of Public Health, School of Science, Walailak University International College)
Burapha University (Faculty of Public Health, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Abhaibhubejhr Thai Traditional Medicine, Faculty of Geoinformatics, Faculty of Logistics, and Faculty of Education)
* Founding Universities and Faculties