The fellows of the Next Generation One Health Philippines (NGOHP) Program participated in a six-week online introductory course on One Health on October to November 2022. The NGOHP is a flagship project of the Planetary and Global Health Program (PGHP) of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine – William H. Quasha Memorial (SLMCCM-WHQM) with support from the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade, which aims to enhance the domestic capacity of the Philippines for One Health transdisciplinary research and knowledge translation to effectively tackle wildlife trade and biodiversity loss as drivers of infectious disease emergence.
Selected for their background and interest in One Health issues, as well as their enthusiasm and capacity for transdisciplinary research and collaboration, the fifteen fellows took part in a six-week, self-paced online course on One Health concepts to further expand their knowledge and understanding of One Health within the context of illegal wildlife trade and zoonotic spillover prevention.
The online course, hosted by SLMCCM-WHQM on their online learning management system called StEP-uP, contains six modules with lectures and interviews from experts coming from around the world. Each lecture and interview focuses on a particular field or discipline, allowing the fellows to expand their understanding of One Health from different perspectives. Additional materials such as readings and videos are also included at the end of each module to further enrich the fellows’ learning experience. The modules found in the online course are as follows:
Module 1: Fundamentals of One Health
Module 2: Wildlife, Emerging Diseases, and One Health
Module 3: One Health Research and Action
Module 4: Social Science and Humanities Perspectives for One Health
Module 5: One Health Governance, Policy, and Economics
Module 6: Leadership for One Health
StEP-uP, the SLMCCM online learning platform, hosts the NGOHP online course for its fellows.
The course was developed by looking into existing One Health online courses and identifying specific issues relevant to the Philippine setting. Experts were then sought out both locally and internationally to fill those knowledge gaps, contributing to the One Health course and bringing their fields of interest and expertise. Recognizing the role of social sciences in addressing One Health issues, interviews with subject experts in history, sociology and human geography, indigenous peoples, animal rights, and environmental psychology were also included in the course. “Given that I already have a background on the ‘science’-side of One Health, I found the concepts on One Health, Governance, Policy, and Economics most significant as these are crucial in the implementation of solutions for issues that have been emphasized in One Health.” said Jamaica Caras, an NGOHP fellow and a microbiologist. “The concepts on Social Sciences and Humanities also helped me understand deeper the importance of an interdisciplinary approach.” Thanks to their contributions, the NGOHP was able to come up with a context-based online curriculum that was both timely and relevant.
The online course is the first part of a year-long fellowship organized by the NGOHP. It will be followed by a workshop on collaborative research, leadership, advocacy, and communication. Afterwards, the fellows will then conduct transdisciplinary research on issues surrounding wildlife trade and zoonotic spillover prevention with the support of mentors and small grants. Policy dialogues and forums will be later organized to ensure that research findings are translated into tangible actions for policy and practice. The modules of the online course will be made available to the public in early 2023 on the NGOHP website.