Building the future One Health workforce continues to be a major area of focus for OHCEA and its partners. In Cameroon, a two-day training on zoonotic diseases was conducted for undergraduate students of Université des Montagnes (UdM) from November 30 to December 1, 2017. The training was organized under the umbrella of the One Health Students Innovations Club (SOHIC). It was aimed at enhancing students’ One Health competencies specifically focusing on communication, community engagement and problem solving. The training focussed on two of the country’s priority zoonotic diseases i.e. Anthrax and Rabies. The other priority zoonotic diseases diseases are Ebola, TB, bird flu.
“This training was very good and informative. I am studying dentistry and did not know that Antryax can manifest in various ways. Now that I am equipped with this information, I can sensitize members of my family or communities. But even with a disease such as rabies we had learnt about my knowledge has increased following the multi-disciplinary training we have had during this workshop. During group discussion, the groups were multidisciplinary so we would get various perspectives from medical students and vets. Each discipline brought on board a strength.” Kevin – Dental Student
The training was opened by the Dean Prof. Jeanne Ngogang and facilitated by faculty of UdM and the Division Delegate from the Ministry of Livestock. Over 50 students from multiple disciplines attended the training which covered mode of transmission, signs and symptoms, control and response to the two zoonotic diseases. As part of the training, students worked in groups using case studies to develop appropriate interventions and responses that were presented in a plenary session. A similar training will be conducted for students of University of Buea.
“Training on Rabies made us appreciate that this is a big problem. We have a very big dog population around Bangagte. Therefore, we should use the knowledge we acquired to sensitive the communities.” Cedric – Agriculture student
Participants commended the training as highly informative and requested that the training should be offered to all students. They also proposed that after such trainings are conducted, students should be given a chance to put sensitize communities on the zoonotic diseases. Considering the importance of the training, participants also proposed that such training should be made mandatory for graduating final year students so that as they enter the field, they are adequately equipped with One Health knowledge.