Consortium awarded $85M for one-health workforce project

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Two wildlife professionals in environment suits preparing samples
Wildlife sampling activity in Rwanda (Courtesy of USAID Predict)

A consortium led by the University of California-Davis One Health Institute has been awarded up to $85 million over five years from the U.S. Agency for International Development for the One Health Workforce–Next Generation project.

The U.S.-based consortium plans to enhance global health security through university networks and member institutions in Africa and Southeast Asia by developing training and programs using a one-health approach.

The training for the students and faculty will not only be on how to take a one-health approach to combating disease at human-animal interfaces, but it’s also on business practices for these organizations so they can become more independent and be able to function on their own, said Dr. Woutrina Smith, the technical director of One Health Workforce–Next Generation. Dr. Smith is also a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and associate director of the UC-Davis One Health Institute.

One Health Workforce–Next Generation will teach professionals problem-solving skills to deal with health issues such as antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases. The consortium is partnering with the Southeast Asia One Health University Network and One Health Central and Eastern Africa.

“The university networks in Africa and Asia are already doing a fantastic job offering many different types of training opportunities, so we want that to continue,” Dr. Smith said. “They’ve been doing that for years now. We’re just taking over as the new global lead to help bring new ideas to the table. How can they do training in a more effective way? How can we help those university networks be self-sustaining?”

The other consortium members are Columbia University, EcoHealth Alliance, UC-Berkeley, UC-Irvine, Ata Health Strategies, the University of New Mexico, and Sandia National Laboratories.

“As we go forward, we’ll be able to share more specific updates on the plan. Right now, we’re initially conducting conversations with the networks to understand their current priorities so that we can be most effective and help to bring new ideas to the partnership,” Dr. Smith said. “We are very excited to be able to act on behalf of the USAID and the UC (system) to help promote one health for the veterinary and public health sectors. I think that bodes well for a united team that can solve health problems around the world.”