The One Health Workforce (OHW) project is developing a health workforce that is prepared to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat of infectious diseases around the world. The project is part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats 2 (EPT2) program, which focuses on cross-sectoral disease surveillance, training, and outbreak response. Teams at the University of Minnesota (Project Lead) and Tufts University provide support for two regional university networks, the One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA) network and the Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN). OHW is able to leverage these established university networks to create a sustainable transformation in the regions’ health workforces.
One Health Across the Globe
Recent and on-going threats have showcased a critical need for health workers that are prepared to manage diseases that cross human, animal, and environmental health sectors. The 2014 emergence of the Ebola virus in West Africa posed a global threat to human and animal health, as well as national security and economic prosperity. The epidemic called for a workforce that not only had the technical skills and competencies to work well within their own discipline and sector, but also possessed the skills to effectively and efficiently work across sectors and disciplines to manage an infectious disease outbreak on a global scale.
The One Health Workforce project supports activities administered by OHCEA and SEAOHUN that address these multi-disciplinary competency needs. OHW coordinates with experts in medicine, nursing, public health, education and development, environmental health, and veterinary medicine, among other disciplines. Current and future One Health workers are taught with innovative curricula and programs in classrooms, online and in the field. Ultimately, OHW is creating a workforce with a new generation of One Health leaders with the necessary technical expertise and practical skills to address emerging infectious disease threats.