COHESA One Health training equips university students to manage infectious diseases in Africa

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The interconnection between the health of people, animals, plants and their shared environment is becoming more evident as endemic, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases increase in prevalence.

One Health, which is a cross-sectoral approach, is key to the mitigation of these challenges, which include antimicrobial resistance and zoonoses such as avian influenza, Ebola, Marburg and COVID-19.

Successful implementation of the One Health approach partly depends on a well-trained workforce.

In collaboration with public universities, government ministries and other national and regional partners, the Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (COHESA) project has since 2021 worked to build the capacity of tertiary institution students in 12 eastern and southern Africa countries to promote understanding, adaptation and uptake of the One Health approach.

In March 2024, the project conducted a week-long course in infectious disease management in Kigali, Rwanda for 36 final-year multi-disciplinary university students.

This training course came after more than four years since the last One Health capacity building initiatives, including training in infectious disease management, were conducted following the suspension of Africa One Health University Network funding to Rwanda in 2020.

Photo: Livestock waiting to drink at a traditional deep well source at Garba Tulla, Isiolo, Kenya (ILRI/Fiona Flintan)

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