Integrating Education and Action for One Health in South Asia


HPRO are partnering with Massey University of New Zealand to implement a new One Health capacity building program entitled Integrating Education and Action for One Health.

The Program is being offered in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal from April 2014 to March 2017, funded by the European Commission under the One Health Programme in Asia (EuropeAid/133708/C/ACT/Multi). The overall objective of the program is to further strengthen collaborative approaches to the investigation and control of zoonotic diseases among the human, animal, and wildlife health sectors through education and joint action.

A core component is a fully integrated One Health Epidemiology Fellowship Program in which participants from the human health, animal health, and wildlife sectors undertake Master’s degree training in epidemiology and biosecurity, and apply that training in a collaborative One Health framework. Working with key collaborating organisations from each sector in each country, Fellows will conduct situation assessments and evaluate surveillance and control strategies for priority zoonotic diseases in using a multi-sectoral approach.

In parallel, Massey University will develop and evaluate novel software tools that include economic analyses, to be used by the participants for evaluating appropriate One Health strategies in their countries across a broad range of disease epitypes.

Towards the end of the program, Fellows will also work with partner organisations in their own countries to adapt the teaching materials and epidemiological approaches learned to in-country training needs of public health, animal health and wildlife health workers and students in medical and veterinary schools and other national institutions involved with managing zoonotic diseases (train-the-trainers component). The program will be undertaken by six participants in each of the four participating countries (24 participants in total), comprising two public health, two animal health and two wildlife health participants.

The program will continue to support and strengthen cross-sectoral collaboration at both national and regional levels within South Asia through the One Health Hubs and One Health Network–South Asia developed under the previous One Health program funded by the European Commission through the Avian and Human Influenza Trust Fund, administered by the World Bank.

Hubnet and the One Health Hubs and One Health Network–South Asia will provide the core vehicles for dissemination of new information within and between the participating countries, and to other countries in the region.

About the program


The One Health Epidemiology Fellowship Program has four major components:

  1. Master’s degree education in epidemiology and biosecurity.
  2. Professional engagement with faculty, postgraduate and undergraduate students in the participating institutions, with related government sectors and with other One Health professionals in the SAARC region.
  3. Applied epidemiology research involving situation assessments, field studies and evaluation of disease control strategies for priority zoonotic diseases in each country using a multi-sectoral approach.
  4. Training the trainer, in which Fellows will design a One Health epidemiology and/or zoonotic disease control curriculum and prepare suitable training materials for undergraduate, postgraduate and/or in-service training of health professionals in their country.

The overarching design principle is “integrating education and action for One Health”, combining education, applied research, professional engagement and training-the-trainer components.

The Master’s degree component will be administered and conferred by Massey University as an integral part of the overarching One Health Epidemiology Fellowship, which will be awarded jointly by Massey University and the collaborating institutions (including HPRO) upon successful completion of the full two-year program.

In Afghanistan, the Fellows study and work together as a cohort, based at HPRO. The program utilises a mixed-mode of delivery including Massey University’s distance learning environment (Stream), face-to-face cohort study, daily tutoring via on-line discussion groups, skype and interactive webinar sessions, applied epidemiology research guided by HPRO and Massey University with face-to-face supervision and mentoring by collaborating institution faculty and a Regional Coordinator, as well as face-to-face teaching by Massey University staff and international experts through a series of regional workshops.

The Fellows will engage with faculty, undergraduate and postgraduate students of the collaborating institutions through regular meetings and discussion groups, and the delivery of seminars and guest lectures on current topics. The Fellows also engage with the relevant government sector departments and institutions on the applied epidemiology research and training-the-trainer components.

The six participants in each of the four participating countries will work together on aspects of the Program as a regional cohort of 24, and contribute actively to the One Health Network South Asia.


Zoonoses are diseases transmitted from animals and wildlife to people, and have a major impact on animal and human health, particularly in rural and peri-urban populations in countries of Asia and Africa. Current methods used for setting national priorities for health interventions tend to underestimate their importance, both as a source of impaired health and as a factor influencing food security. Zoonoses also represent the principal source of emerging infectious diseases, which can have serious national and in some cases global economic and social effects.

There is a need to develop better methods of assessing the significance of zoonoses and appropriate management strategies at national and regional levels, which in turn requires investment in training people to carry out such evaluations and to implement control strategies.

This program is designed to sustainably strengthen capacity and capability by delivering postgraduate training to individuals to carry out disease evaluations and implement control strategies in collaboration with key institutes in each participating country. It also aims to build the capacity of these institutes through the transfer skills, knowledge and teaching materials, to facilitate ongoing training in the One Health management of zoonotic diseases at undergraduate, postgraduate and in-service training levels.

The overall aim of the program is to improve the livelihoods of people who are at-risk of becoming infected with zoonotic diseases through strengthening the epidemiology skills and collaboration among the human, animal, and wildlife health sectors to more effectively detect and manage emerging and endemic zoonotic diseases


The specific objectives of the fellowship program are:

  1. To provide formal postgraduate training in human, animal, and wildlife disease epidemiology.
  2. To undertake pilot investigations of zoonoses and determine cost-effective surveillance and control strategies coordinated across human, domestic animal and/or wildlife species.
  3. To strengthen capacity and capability of tertiary education institutes in each country to deliver training in One Health management of zoonotic diseases at undergraduate, postgraduate and in-service training levels.
  4. To build and strengthen collaborative relationships between professionals working within the human, domestic animal and wildlife health sectors in each country and regionally by integrating project participants into existing regional One Health networks.

More about the program as whole: Integrating Education and Action for One Health

 EUlogoThis document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of HPRO.