OHCEA Tanzania conducted a joint interdisciplinary training for undergraduate students from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) on ‘control of emerging pandemic threats and other zoonotic diseases’. This was a collaborative training facilitated by faculty from MUHAS and SUA. A total of 106 students from both institutions were involved in the training, including fifty seven (57) 5th year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine students from SUA 49 second year BSc. Environmental Health students from MUHAS. Six faculty were involved with the training as instructors; four from SUA and two from MUHAS. The training was conducted at SUA campus, Morogoro.
The training aimed at introducing students to emerging pandemic threats (EPT) and other important zoonotic diseases and empower them with the principles of their prevention, control and eradication using the abattoir as a model.
Participatory approaches were used during the training process. The topics that were covered included:
- General overview of OHCEA, its genesis, scope and importance
- Overview of One Health concepts; One Health Competencies and Domains, linking with EPT and One Health Workforce (OHW) project
- PREDICT: A relevant predictive Public Health approach for EPT in Tanzania
- Zoonosis and other One Health and Public health upcoming issues like antibiotic resistance (AMR).
- General meat hygiene and quality assessment.
- Biorisk measures in selection of areas for abattoir construction.
- Abattoir lay out, management and sanitation.
- Meat animals: selection, handling and slaughter practices.
- Antemortem inspection of animals & the common diseases and postmortem meat inspection & the common pathological lesions.
- Animal byproducts from abattoir as potential sources of zoonosis to humans.
- Wastes and waste management from abattoir as a means of prevention of EPT, zoonosis and other emerging pollutants (antibiotic residues and natural hormones) from abattoir; (xii) Occupational diseases and injuries: Hospital model and Food industry (abattoir) mode
For each of the covered theoretical topics, students participated in practical sessions which included a visit to the abattoir; focusing on the abattoir layout, facilities available and ante-mortem animal examination, meat inspection & transportation of meat to meat shops (butchers), waste management and sanitation, assessment of condemned organs.
The five days training enhanced interactions between veterinary students from SUA and their counterpart BSc. Environmental Health students from MUHAS. Apart from the theoretical training in classes, practical training at the abattoir; students had opportunities to participate in sporting activities during some evenings.
Majority of the students said that the training was relevant to their career; there was a lot of new information and learning provided; useful materials and knowledge gained; the training expanded their understanding of One Health; the training met the intended objectives as were stated in the program; the training met the expectations of students and all of them promised to make use of the materials and knowledge gained in their professional career.
Additionally, students said that the interaction enabled them make new friends across the two universities.