The concept of One Health stems from the knowledge that there is a cyclic effect of human activities on animal and ecosystem health with consequences on human health. A conscious effort at promoting any of these aspects of One Health would affect other aspects. One Health thus entails an intensive focus on Human, Animal, and Environmental health-related issues with the view to promoting sustainable health and development. Students and young professionals are important stakeholders in promoting the concept of One Health as they can be important agents to communicate and promote One Health impact in their immediate communities. One Health and Development Initiative (OHDI) works to promote education, advocacy, and solutions to interrelated issues of human, animal, and ecosystem health through an integrated One Health approach. OHDI is thus constantly seeking channels to propagate the One Health approach in achieving sustainable results in health promotion and sustainable development. In meeting these goals, OHDI recognizes the need to harness the potential, vibrancy, and strength of young people across the world who are joining and contributing to building the momentum of One Health awareness and impact. One of such avenues was piloted through the One Health Advocacy and Mentorship (OHAM) program – a six-month-long fellowship that engages select students and professionals in virtual One Health learning, media advocacy, mentorship, and implementation of community-based projects.
Upon the successful completion of this program, OHDI now seeks to scale up to engage more young people across the world, with the aim of supporting them to be more actively and concisely engaged in One Health learning and impact activities while also connecting them to One Health-related opportunities. To begin this process, OHDI organized a Webinar to commemorate the 2022 One Health Awareness Month and engage University and College students in practical One Health community-building and action. To this end, a webinar for One Health Students was organized in January to commemorate the One Health Awareness Month with the theme ‘Promoting Students Action for One Health’. The aim of this webinar was to stimulate students and young people’s interest in One Health and its related activities. We found it necessary to reach out to students who will be vibrant and instrumental in communicating the One Health approach to their peers and to larger communities by extension. A resultant effect of this webinar was a survey that was shared on all our social media handles for students for us to better understand students’ level of interest and needs in starting up and participating in One Health Clubs in their respective institutions.
SURVEY ON ESTABLISHMENT OF ONE HEALTH CLUBS
This survey was designed to access the willingness of students to create a One Health Club in their respective institutions and to collect data, collect data on academic backgrounds, interest in establishing/participating in a One Health Club, individual fields of One health interest, and activities of interest. The survey was promoted on all OHDI social media platforms.
By the survey deadline, a total of 71 students from 24 tertiary institutions took part in the survey thus indicating interest. The institutions represented by their respective students are as follows
|INSTITUTIONS||NUMBER OF STUDENT RESPONDENTS|
|1||Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria||2|
|2||Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia||1|
|3||Babcock University, Ilisha-Remo, Nigeria||1|
|4||Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta,Nigeria||12|
|5||Federal University of Technology, Akure,Nigeria||1|
|6||Graben Catholic University, DRC Congo||1|
|7||Igbinedion University, Okada, Nigeria||1|
|8||Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi,Nigeria||1|
|9||Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana||1|
|10||Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Nigeria||1|
|11||Nile University, Abuja , Nigeria||1|
|12||Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria||6|
|13||Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Nigeria||1|
|14||Redeemer’s University, Osun State, Nigeria||1|
|15||Research Unit in Applied Microbiologie and Pharmacology of natural substances, Republic of Benin||3|
|16||Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin||1|
|17||Université de Lomé,Togo||3|
|18||University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria||1|
|19||University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria||1|
|20||University of Ibadan, Nigeria||1|
|21||University of Ilorin, Nigeria||2|
|22||University of Maiduguri, Nigeria||3|
|23||University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria||23|
|24||Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria||2|
While 61 (86%) respondents were from Nigeria, 10 (14%) respondents were from the Benin Republic, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, and Ethiopia.
Figure I – Distribution of respondents based on their respective countries
Figure II – Distribution of respondents based on their academic background
48% of respondents have an academic background in Microbiology, and 22.2% of respondents have a background in Veterinary Medicine. The remaining 29.7% of respondents have backgrounds in One Health, Biotechnology, Microbiology, Anatomy, Chemistry, Sciences, Human Medicine, Nursing Science, and Development communications. 97.2% of respondents are definitive of their interest in establishing or being part of their institution’s One Health Club while 2.8% of respondents are not sure of their interest.
Figure III – Respondents interested in establishing/participating in a One Health Club in their respective tertiary institutions.
Respondents were asked about their Most preferred area of work. 60.6% of respondents have interest in Zoonoses and Public Health, 29.9% indicated their interest in Animal Health and Welfare. 25.4%, 26.8%, 15.5% and 43.7% of respondents have interests in food security, environmental health, conservation and Biodiversity and Antimicrobial Resistance respectively.
Figure IV– Most preferred One Health Area of work
Respondents were also asked about their preferred activities of interest in their respective One Health Clubs. 69% of respondents indicated their interest in Outreach and Media Advocacy, 33.8% in mentorship, 21.6% in technical writing, 64.8% in learning and capacity building, 64.8% in One Health projects, 9.8% in fundraising and 47.9% of respondents in public speaking and leadership
Figure IV– Activities of interest in respective One Health Clubs
From the above results, it is apparent that there is a considerable level of willingness among young people in establishing One Health Clubs and interest in various One Health fields and activities. OHDI has the vision to push One Health awareness, action, and impact into different spaces where such campaigns seldom exist at the same time implementing new and improved solutions to human, animal, environmental, and ecosystem health outside Africa. The establishment of these clubs is just one of many avenues OHDI will utilize to blaze a trail for sustainable health and development using the One Health Approach as its impact tool. We, therefore, call on members of the public for support, partnership, and resource mobilization in achieving the goals and impact that young people and their potential One Health Clubs are bound to make.