One Health EJP Summer School 2021: Environmental Issues in One Health
“Thank you” to the local organising team at the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) for organising a stimulating and enriching proframme at our 3rd annual One Health Summer School. The theme was “Environmental issues in One Health – from risk assessment to surveillance” and was delivered online on 26th July to 6th August.
The One Health EJP welcomed delegates from across the globe to our third One Health Summer School. This was the first international training event entirely devoted to environmental issues in One Health at a global level.
The connection between human and animal health is now well recognised in the One Health field, however, the environment is often neglected. To understand and illustrate the role of environmental issues, the multi-faceted aspects of environmental health need to be discussed – for example, risk assessment, the role of the ecosystem and related factors, the role of natural and man-made factors, the farm as an environmental modifier, and the issue of sustainability.
More than 50 scientists from all over the world were involved as lecturers and tutors, provided comprehensive multidisciplinary expertise -from veterinary medicine to human epidemiology, from ecology to social sciences, from microbiology and virology to toxicology and more.
Our 41 delegates provided perspectives from different countries including European countries such as Denmark, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Belarus and UK, and countries further afield, including Armenia, Somalia, US, and Nigeria. Delegates were in their early career stages with a range of interdisciplinary backgrounds, skills, and experience which encompassed all pillars of One Health. Expertise included, amongst others, microbiology, veterinary medicine, ecology, toxicology, biotechnology, machine learning, human nutrition, human epidemiology and social sciences. .
In the One Health EJP, we regularly monitor the activities of our European and international stakeholders, and consult with them to identify their needs, knowledge gaps, policy trends, new regulations, future risks, and sustainability. Therefore, we offer VIP invitations to our stakeholders to participate in our training events. In this summer school, six early career researchers and professionals from EFSA, FAO, OIE and EEA engaged in the collaborative discussions adding further through filling desired knowledge gaps and avoiding duplication of efforts.
Here are some of our delegates and lecturers in the opening session…
This year’s programme involved 10 days of multi-disciplinary collaboration between delegates, lecturers, and tutors. Each day, a different topic was prioritised, in the mornings, experts presented plenary lectures with regular collaborative discussions and activities and in the afternoons, delegates worked in their working groups and with their tutors on a series of assignments and activities. These activities included framing the problem, building a One Health working group, managing the problem, translating the science to policy, communication, and surveillance. The aim of these afternoon sessions was to build a One Health approach to a given problem and discuss how to apply it to a situation in the real world.
The importance of One Health communications was highlighted in a communications workshop in the second week of the Summer School. This workshop provided delegates with top tips for communicating and disseminating complex research and concepts and introduced the concept of communication strategies to identify and tailor messages to different target audiences. They also learned how to use social media, branding and online engagements to increase improve their communications, and even how to use podcasting as an alternative means of communication. This workshop also offered a unique insight into how to communicate with important national and international stakeholders and included many elements which could be applied to a range of career stages.
Take a look at the delegates feedback to this communications workshop…
Social media played a role in encouraging conversations and interactions during and after the event. The event was well promoted on the One Health EJP Twitter and LinkedIn accounts which not only connected delegates on social media, but also gave them the opportunity to share their experiences to a wide audience. This is not only important for building relationships and collaboration, but also increasing the awareness of the training opportunities that the One Health EJP offers. Training opportunities such as this summer school demonstrate what can be achieved through providing interactive and collaborative learning platforms to expand professional networks and to train the next generation of future scientists through sharing their knowledge, perspectives, and expertise from across all pillars of One Health.
Take a look at some of the testimonials received from our delegates….