One Health Nicaragua
The overarching mission of the Nicaragua Project is to foster a One Health approach to international outreach by establishing an evidence based, interdisciplinary community health project and research platform. The specific goals of the Nicaragua Project are to:
- Bring sustainable, interdisciplinary healthcare and economic development to the people and animals of Sabana Grande, Nicaragua.
- Create a model for sustainable health practices that will be applicable worldwide.
- Provide an educational and cultural experience for UC Davis students, in turn fostering global health leaders of the future.
The community of Sabana Grande is located in the beautiful, mountainous northern region of Nicaragua, in the municipality of Totogalpa. For the past decade, Sabana Grande has been the site of many local and foreign partnerships that have turned it into a community that is empowered to make positive change, which has resulted in renewable energy, reforestation and local job creation.
As the project moves forward, the ongoing goal is to improve access to health information by “training the trainers.” We are doing so by working with the Health and Welfare Cooperation to develop educational modules and clinical workshops that empower community volunteers to play a permanent role as educators in their community.
We also hope to develop the project into an even more collaborative One Health project by recruiting graduate student researchers and faculty members from outside the veterinary health sciences. The community of Sabana Grande, where human, animal and environmental health is clearly linked, provides an ideal platform to demonstrate the impact of interdisciplinary collaborations.
When I arrived in Sabana Grande, I only had a cursory understanding of the definition of One Health: the interrelationships of human medicine, animal medicine and the environment regarding the subject of health. Simple enough, yet what did that mean to me?