One Health EJP CPD module: Outbreak Preparedness

Outbreak Preparedness

Thank you to the lead organisers at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands, led by Dorothee Rosskamp for organising such a successful first OHEJP Continuing Professional Development module. 

The coronavirus pandemic led to this event being re-organised as an online event, hosted on 16th-17th October 2020.

The theme of the module was ‘Outbreak Preparedness’- a very timely topic. We all know that outbreaks or events involving new or re-emerging zoonoses can occur anytime and everywhere. The One Health concept recognises that human health is tightly connected to the health of animals and the environment. Therefore, strengthening the human-veterinary collaboration is essential to prevent, detect and respond to zoonotic threats. Yet, implementation and operationalisation of the One Health concept often remains a challenge. In addition, countries differ across Europe (and worldwide) and thus the approaches to One Health issues do also.

The exchange of best practices and experiences of One Health approaches was a central aspect of this module, providing a learning platform aimed at knowledge integration and strengthening of One Health collaboration across Europe.

The course was delivered to 20 delegates from the consortium partners, stakeholder institutions and One Health EJP alumni.

The module consisted of sessions delivered by leading European experts in the fields of national outbreak preparedness, risk analysis, risk communication and response in the One Health domains of human health, animal health and environmental health.

The module delivered a platform to share experiences and lessons learned from past outbreaks, provided an understanding of the Dutch zoonoses response structure, as an example of a One Health approach in prevention and response, provided an insight into relevant aspects of risk perception and communication to professionals and the public, and delivered an interactive experience in risk assessment and response to a zoonotic disease.

This training event was attended by Early Career Researchers from across our consortium partner network with some experience in a related health field and some of our PhD students. The delegate’s educational backgrounds were diverse across the One Health fields and included biological sciences, veterinary medicine, social sciences, and public health. Bringing together people from across the health disciplines made this module truly cross- disciplinary and highlighted the advantages of a One Health approach. It also allowed for interesting collaborative discussions and for knowledge and experiences to be shared.