Development of a curriculum for training in One Health analytical epidemiology at the University of Zambia.

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Development of a curriculum for training in One Health analytical epidemiology at the University of Zambia.

Onderstepoort J Vet Res. 2012;79(2):E1-4

Authors: Muma J, Simuunza M, Mwachalimba K, Munyeme M, Namangala B, Hankanga C, Sijumbila G, Likwa Ndonyo R, Sinkala Y, Mwanza A, Simanyengwe Mweene A

Recently, the world has witnessed emergence of novel diseases such as avian influenza, HIV and AIDS, West Nile Virus and Ebola. The evolution of these pathogens has been facilitated mainly by a constantly evolving animal-human interface. Whilst infectious disease control was previously conceptualised as either public health or animal health related issues, the distinction between disciplinary foci have been blurred by multiple causal factors that clearly traverse traditional disciplinary divides. These multiple evolutionary pressures have included changes in land use, ecosystems, human-livestock-wildlife interactions and antibiotic use, representing novel routes for pathogen emergence. With the growing realisation that pathogens do not respect traditional epistemological divides, the 'One Health' initiative has emerged to advocate for closer collaboration across the health disciplines and has provided a new agenda for health education. Against this background, the One Health Analytical Epidemiology course was developed under the auspices of the Southern African Centre for Infectious Diseases Surveillance by staff from the University of Zambia with collaborators from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Royal Veterinary College in London. The course is aimed at equipping scientists with multidisciplinary skill sets to match the contemporary challenges of human, animal and zoonotic disease prevention and control. Epidemiology is an important discipline for both public and animal health. Therefore, this two-year programme has been developed to generate a cadre of epidemiologists with a broad understanding of disease control and prevention and will be able to conceptualise and design holistic programs for informing health and disease control policy decisions.

PMID: 23327398 [PubMed - in process]