One Health In Action 2017

Sri Lanka elephants

2- 22 July 2017

Course Overview – The One Health in Action: An Intensive Field Course in Sri Lanka 2017 is a cross-cultural, immersion-based field course designed for graduate students and early career health professionals who want to engage in global health careers that will demand effective problem solving skills, cross-disciplinary engagements, and solid foundations in field and laboratory activities. The course is based on the principles and practices of One Health. Participants will travel together with faculty from University of California and University of Peradeniya, and will visit Sri Lankan settings that illustrate how the health of people, animals and the environment are inextricably linked. Course activities will challenge participants to consider the many inter-related issues that are typical of complex problems, and to see firsthand, and even develop themselves, One Health strategies as solutions to the challenges. Course participants will improve their understanding and grasp of One Health competencies and ideas: leadership; systems thinking; transdisciplinary problem solving; communications; professional integrity, ethics and diplomacy; vision integration and advocacy for change; and planetary health. Current global health issues will be discussed throughout the course.

Eligibility – This three-week action-oriented field course is designed for a collegial, inquisitive, multi-disciplinary group of graduate students and early career professionals in human health sciences, veterinary medicine, agriculture, nutrition, and social and environmental sciences. Applicants may be enrolled or recently graduated from any accredited university. Students must be committed to learning and working together to apply the One Health approach to important human, animal and environmental health problems. Eligible UC students will include professional degree students in medicine and veterinary medicine as well as graduate students in nursing, agriculture, nutrition, public health, social and environmental sciences. In 2017, a maximum of 16 participants will be enrolled in the Sri Lanka field course.

Background ­– With global populations increasing rapidly amidst changing environments and limited resources, one of the most important concerns facing human-kind is ensuring health – including access to adequate, sustainable and safe food resources and water, human and animal disease prevention, resilient ecosystems and culturally appropriate health care. The health of our people, our animals, and our planet are highly linked and all are at risk given current trajectories. Building on the previously popular Envirovet Summer Institute and the 2015 Sri Lank One Health in Action field course, faculty and stakeholders are once again coming together to open their doors to course participants in 2017. Below is a participant statement from the 2015 Sri Lanka One Health course:

“To truly understand a global health problem, there is no substitute for immersing in it by living amongst it and working with those who are affected by it. Whether we were dealing with problems of human health, animal health, or environmental health during the One Health field course, I was repeatedly impressed by the warmth and openness during field visits as people talked about local problems and finding innovative solutions. I think for myself and many others, a field course like this is both challenging and invigorating, and I’ve heard many people say it is life-changing.”

 Curriculum – The course involves initial sessions at the University of Peradeniya and then launches into field sessions and visits where course participants immerse in global health problems with stakeholders and local partners who can share diverse perspectives. Field visits may include time in the northcentral region of Sri Lanka where an epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin has affected lifestyles and livelihoods of agricultural families, time focused on animal-oriented issues such as elephant conflict and welfare, time with tea and rice industry workers, and time with coastal communities that are adapting to cultural and economic pressures as well as climate change. Themes woven throughout the course include One Health, planetary health, cross-cultural communication and health, human-wildlife-environment interfaces, zoonotic disease and mitigation strategies, sustainable agriculture strategies, conservation, food safety, and community engagement. Training will involve classroom sessions, small-group discussions, visits with government and stakeholder representatives at their offices, hands-on field exercises, and time traveling through the country to enjoy to rich culture and history. Course participants will get experience leading discussions and making presentations. They will have opportunities for structured group-sharing sessions, as well as unstructured brainstorming for effective problem solving, and will have one-on-one conversations with faculty mentors.

Faculty – The One Health field course is co-led by faculty from University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, and the University of California, Davis in the USA. Both of these universities have a strong reputation for One Health collaborative research and training, and build on university structures that involve Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine as well as Colleges of Agriculture and the Social Sciences. Your accomplished and diverse faculty members will provide leadership, guidance, and mentoring to course participants that highlight the key roles that stakeholders, government, and industry partners play in solving global health problems associated with people, animals, and their shared environments in Sri Lankan systems.

Cost – Course tuition is US $3,500/participant, inclusive of travel, lodging, and food costs in Sri Lanka during the three week course. Important: Enrolled participants will be responsible for their own travel costs to and from Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the beginning and end of the field course. Academic credit is possible.

Application Instructions – The application period for this program closed on February 12, 2017. Applicants submitted a cover letter, the application form, and at least one (but no more than three) letter of recommendation from an individual who attested to the applicant's commitment, work ethic, and abilities as a team player.

Applicants will be notified by February 28, 2017 as to whether or not they have been accepted into the program. Confirmation of enrollment and tuition payments will be due in March, 2017. 

For inquiries, please contact Jennifer Wang, jncwang@ucdavis.edu.

View and download the Sri Lanka One Health in Action 2017 flyer