In the last decade and more, there has been an increasing upsurge of novel and existing infectious disease outbreaks in humans and animals both globally, nationally and locally in our communities. Notable among these include the zoonotic diseases Coronavirus, Lassa Fever, Tuberculosis, and Rabies, etc., and other animal health diseases such as the Rinderpest in cattle, Swine flu in Pigs, Avian influenza in Poultry and Parvovirus in Dogs. As an added complication, our environmental sustainability is increasingly at risk with the realities of climate changes that include diminishing wildlife and poor conservation, droughts and flooding causing an increasing threat to food security, environmental pollution, poor agricultural practices, and incessant natural disasters. The inter-connectivity of these human, animal and environmental issues demands an urgent need for a holistic and cohesive approach to proffered sustainable solutions. One Health which “promotes multi-sectoral and trans-disciplinary collaborations to achieving optimal health outcomes between animals, humans, plants and their shared environment” has been verified as this sustainable approach. In Nigeria, the One Health approach is even more pertinent because of our failing systems in health and development and the seeming segregation of allied health professions which limits collaboration among professionals. In addition, the growing movement of One Health – though being touted globally is yet to receive the adequate and necessary attention and momentum in the general Nigerian public. Therefore, there is a need for widespread information, education and integrated advocacy on solving health and development issues through the One Health approach among related sectors and by extension, the general public.
One Health and Development Initiative (OHDI)
One Health and Development Initiative (OHDI) is a nonprofit organization that works to promote news, education, advocacy and solutions to interrelated issues of animal, human and ecosystem health through an integrated One Health approach. Our work is rooted in the belief that public health issues are intertwined across animal, human and environmental ecosystems thereby requiring a holistic approach to effective and sustainable solutions. So, in implementing our various activities through social impact and health programs, media projects, advocacy, and research, the core values of “One Health” is consistently integrated to achieve sustainable results in health promotion and sustainable development.
The One Health Advocacy and Mentorship (OHAM) Program
As one of our organizational objectives to promote learning, interaction and advocacy on One Health, we are establishing the One Health Advocacy and Mentorship program (OHAM). The OHAM program will provide virtual learning, mentorship and advocacy opportunities for students and young professionals in relevant professions in the One Health sectors. The program presents an opportunity for selected students and young professionals to learn technical ideals, principles, and values of One Health, interact with like-minded professionals and to be mentored by advanced professionals for their respective career development
Goal – To engage young professionals and students in related fields of One Health for education, advocacy, and career mentorship.
- Provide a platform for cohesive learning and interaction on One Health ideals, career applications, and opportunities
- Engage professionals in social media advocacy on various themes of One Health
- Establish and engage beneficiaries on a mentorship program with mid-career to advanced professionals working in relevant fields of One Health both in Nigeria and abroad.
- Applicants may be undergraduate students in their 4th, 5th or 6th year (depending on their degree), may be master-level students and/or young professionals currently studying or working in the related One Health sectors such as Human Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture, Environmental Health, Wildlife Conservation and other relevant Biological Sciences.
- Must be aged 18 to 35 years of age.
- Must have worked for not more than 3 years post-graduation.
- Must be social media savvy with considerable social media engagement on either of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Instagram.
Summary of Activity Timeline
The inaugural class of this program will run from March 30, 2020, to September 30, 2020. A total of 15 students and young professionals across Nigeria will be selected for the OHAM program. Their activities will be structured according to the 3 main themes of the OHAM program listed as follows;
- Learning – Each month, OHAM beneficiaries will learn a major One Health theme and will be expected to submit one short article on the selected topic.
- Advocacy – The OHAM beneficiaries will utilize their social media platforms to engage in online advocacy on the discussed One Health themes twice a month
- Mentorship – OHAM beneficiaries and their assigned mentors must schedule and complete at least one virtual conversation (via Skype, Zoom or whichever platform is most convenient for both parties). Their discussions will focus on professional/career development and application of One Health to their current professions and/or studies.
Applications to the 2020 cohort of OHAM Fellows are currently open till March 6th, 2020. Send in your application by completing the OHAM Program Application Form
For the latest updates and information about the OHAM program as it progresses, follow us on our relevant social media platforms.