Apart from being a thriving frontliner in the cause for One Health implementation and interventions in Nigeria, One Health and Development Initiative has always served as a worthy platform where enthusiastic young professionals and interns can hone their skills and get equipped to join the global One Health and related conversations. Through tutelage and mentorship from the leadership and management of the organization, these students and early-stage professionals are contributing effectively to the organizational goals, thereby paving the way for them to lead impactful careers in no distant time.
When Damilola Adesuyi, Research Assitant at OHDI, conceived an idea to collaborate with the Centre for Infectious Disease Control and Drug Development (CIDCDD), Nigeria to facilitate a One Health introductory seminar to the research interns at CIDCDD, the management thought it was a laudable idea for him to have a go at. And he did with a successful outcome.
CIDCDD is committed to research and development, and the center accommodates research interns from different disciplines (such as microbiology and biochemistry) with related research interests and a commitment to excellence. This provision has facilitated interdisciplinary research and collaborations. In line with this provision, the One Health approach recognizes the need for interdisciplinary efforts in addressing global health issues such as Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and infectious diseases. Damilola conducted this seminar to introduce One Health to the research interns at CIDCDD, exploring its use in infectious disease research and control, as well as highlighting the significance of One Health in research.
This seminar which was held on 26 August 2022 at the CIDCDD in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria was attended by 36 undergraduate participants. Key discussion points at the seminar included a basic explanation of the One Health concept, its core principles, and its potential and feasibility as an excellent approach for addressing global health issues such as AMR, zoonosis, emerging and re-emerging diseases, and climate change. This was followed by a discourse of sectors in One Health such as zoonosis, animal welfare, and environmental health, and how each sector promotes interdisciplinary efforts for integrated collaborations, including the opportunities for young aspiring professionals that lie within the One Health spectrum. In addition to the abovementioned, the need for One Health in infectious disease research and control; the interconnection between infectious agents, humans, animals, and the environment were elaborated on, with case studies made out of malaria and schistosomiasis.
The feedback received from the interns included further questions on the topics of discussion, and inquiries on their role and future opportunities for career development in the area. As an organization, OHDI was happy to support Damilola in this process, and we find this development as a beacon of hope for the operationalization of the One Health concept with future conversations and actions. An assembly of young people passionately discussing issues relating to global and One Health and how they each can contribute their quota in various ways is something we applaud and would always encourage and support. It is also important for young One Health enthusiasts to build their capacity like this in One Health promotion and OHDI provides such a platform through the One Health Clubs.
In the meantime, we cannot be prouder of the caliber of team members we have at OHDI. This is to your praise and hard work, Damilola Adesuyi!