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One Health: Connecting Humans, Animals and the Environment

Become familiar with One Health, a promising concept, and the effective solutions it provides to urgent health problems. In our globalised world, new approaches to preventing, treating and controlling diseases are urgently needed. New illnesses seem to spread faster than ever thanks to interconnected ecosystems and the close connections between humans and animals. Stressing this interconnectedness, One Health seeks an integrative approach to human and animal health. This course will explore this approach and examine the value of it – as well as explain how One Health strategies work in practice.

In this free online course, we will attempt to answer some key questions, including:

– What are the many advantages of a closer cooperation between human and animal health?

– What transdisciplinary processes can be set up to solve a particular One Health problem efficiently?

Understand the concept of One Health

The One Health concept has gained momentum in recent decades, spurred for instance by the Avian Influenza pandemic or by concerns regarding wildlife conservation. Growing interest and practical engagement in academia, non-governmental organisations and national and local governments can be observed widely. After this course you’ll be able to not only explain what One Health is, you’ll be able to explain how this engagement is carried out, for example in collection of vaccination coverage data or food safety enhancement. In addition you’ll also be able to reflect on interdisciplinary ideas that can solve everyday One Health problems.

Explore the value of One Health

Practicing One Health not only improves human and animal health but also allows considerable financial savings and contributes to a better environment. This value cannot be achieved working alone, but rather is a triumph of truly interdisciplinary and intersectoral work. The course reflects this and brings together different disciplines in a selection of case studies, demonstrating the advantages of a closer cooperation between human and animal health and social and cultural sciences. You will learn how to calculate the added value resulting from this approach.

We are very happy to announce that in this course you may take part in a competition in order to win one of three travel grants. Those grants will allow you to come to Switzerland for one week and visit an interesting program.

Learning outcomes

– Summarise the many advantages of a closer cooperation between human and animal health.

– Describe the fundamental principles of cross-sector human and animal health economics.

– Explain how the transmission of diseases from livestock to human via food can be prevented.

– Discuss the environmental policy and law that supports food safety.

– Debate how food safety can benefit from One Health.

– Develop ideas for transdisciplinary processes that can solve an everyday One Health problem.

– Reflect on the problems that arise from poor communication between human doctors and veterinarians.

– Investigate social-ecological perspectives for the improvement of human and animal well-being.

– Identify the rabies problem in the World and the potential for its elimination in Africa.

– Investigate through practical case studies the collection of vaccination coverage data.

– Calculate matrices to describe growth rates of populations.

– Interpret tables of vaccination coverage data.

– Calculate transmission dynamics of diseases between humans and animals.


The only thing you need to bring to this course is an interest in the relationship between human and animals in different cultures. You don’t need prior knowledge of human or veterinary medicine to benefit from this course – it addresses non-professionals as well as health professionals and those working in politics, NGOs, and students of veterinary and human medicine throughout the world.