Health education should be early, inclusive and holistic

The 19th century pathologist Rudolf Virchow was notable for the importance he placed on multifocal and transdisciplinary thinking about the determinants of health and disease. Even more famously, he wrote a groundbreaking report for the Prussian government on the typhus epidemic of 1847-1848 in the Upper Silesian region, advocating free and unlimited democracy as the most important principle for combating the epidemic.
1
Medicine as a social science: Rudolf Virchow on the typhus epidemic in Upper Silesia.

As an advocate for system change to address health inequities, Virchow has been described as a pioneer of One Health: the idea that the health and well-being of human and animal populations and environmental systems are complex interconnected events shaped by biosocial contexts.

2
WHO
The Tripartite and UNEP support the OHHLEP definition of “One Health”.

the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a rich set of results that capture the One Health challenges arising from these interconnected systems.
3
  • Villanueva-Cabezas JP
  • Rajkhowa A
  • Campbell AJD
One Health needs a vision beyond zoonoses.

Achieving the SDGs will require capacity building to drive the transdisciplinary integration of knowledge combined with the coded design and implementation of solutions at local, national, regional and global levels. Unfortunately, most training at One Health takes place in medical and veterinary programs after at least 3 years or more of prior study.

4
  • Stroud C
  • Kaplan B
  • Logan I
  • CG gray
One Health training, research and awareness in North America.

,

5
  • Iatridou D
  • Congratulations to
  • Saunders J
One Health interdisciplinary collaboration in veterinary education establishments in Europe: mapping of implementation and reflection on promotion.

which in itself promotes and rewards discipline-specific mental models. We argue that the development of mastery of One Health thought and methods is hindered by previous acculturation into such professional silos, and that bioscience-focused One Health education tends to exclude students from other disciplines. , which undermines the development of transdisciplinary approaches to addressing the SDGs.

We advocate for One Health education to go beyond medical and veterinary students and start earlier than postgraduate programs. Transdisciplinary thinking and collaboration is best learned within truly diverse student cohorts, including science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine, as well as humanities, arts, and social sciences . It is in these mixed classes that disciplinary thinking, worldviews, life experiences, cultural backgrounds and knowledge systems can be shared. This early and inclusive approach was implemented at undergraduate level at the University of Melbourne through a sequence of two academic courses.
6
Extended: The Interdisciplinary Experience: A Survey of Student Expectations of the University of Melbourne Extended Subjects and the “Melbourne Model”.

Undergraduate students at the University of Melbourne are required to study extensive subjects outside of their home faculty in order to develop a wider set of skills than those typically available in their field of study. Scope topics are a special category of such topics, designed to teach complementary ways of thinking about issues and problems, and to challenge student perceptions.

6
Extended: The Interdisciplinary Experience: A Survey of Student Expectations of the University of Melbourne Extended Subjects and the “Melbourne Model”.

The two Our Planet Our Health courses started in 2018 with a first year of introduction to One Health concepts and agenda.
7
The University of Melbourne
Handbook Our planet, our health (UNIB10017).

A second-year course started in 2019 and integrates these concepts, within a systems thinking framework, through extensive use of case studies.

8
The University of Melbourne
Handbook Our planet, our health II (UNIB20020).

Courses use collaborative group active learning activities, including site visits and gallery assignments, to promote student exploration of weekly One Health themes, supported by presentations from a wide range of topics. interdisciplinary guest experts. A variety of inclusive knowledge types are integrated throughout the program including Australian Indigenous knowledge, law, politics and government, economics and business and social sciences, as well as traditional bioscience approaches including epidemiology , microbiology and ecology. Subject teachers come from multiple professional, cultural, linguistic, age, gender and First Nations backgrounds.

As of December 2021, these courses had enrolled a total of over 600 national and international students, mostly women, who are already enrolled in other degrees, such as science and fine arts (figure). To date, our approach to providing early, inclusive and holistic One Health education to such a diverse undergraduate cohort appears globally unique.

FigureThe One Health early, inclusive and holistic education model

Show full legend
Using the classic principles of systems thinking,
9
Thinking in Systems: An Introduction.

we highlight the benefits of the One Health model. The earlier One Health education is integrated into a university curriculum, the more inclusive and diverse the student cohort is, given the absence of rigid disciplinary silos and mental models. Therefore, students are open to examining and learning holistic approaches to One Health issues. This approach results in an Effective Reinforcement (R) cycle in which newly trained One Health transdisciplinary thinkers continually explore, evaluate, and integrate various approaches into their problem-solving toolkit.

Based on our teaching experience, we propose that, to acculturate thinking at the planetary level, One Health education should begin early in the undergraduate years and draw on multiple teaching traditions and systems of knowledge to create an effective reinforcement cycle of transdisciplinary thinking and holistic approaches. This will maximize the inclusiveness and diversity of student groups and promote holistic conceptions of One Health beyond pathogen-centric science.
3
  • Villanueva-Cabezas JP
  • Rajkhowa A
  • Campbell AJD
One Health needs a vision beyond zoonoses.

For example, we make explicit the close links between One Health thinking and Indigenous concepts of caring for the country,

ten
Caring for the Country: History and Alchemy in the Making and Stewardship of Australia’s Indigenous Lands.

and the fundamental importance of place-based, non-human kinship systems. By implementing this new model of One Health education, we are also attracting diverse and highly engaged students who are enthusiastic about One Health challenges.

200 years after his birth, we are still following in the footsteps of Virchow who, in his 1848 report, distilled
1
Medicine as a social science: Rudolf Virchow on the typhus epidemic in Upper Silesia.

the essence of the public and planetary health challenges we face and the multifocal lenses needed to address them: “For let us be perfectly clear, we face the fundamental problem of trying to understand the factors that have made us who we are , and which will determine our future. We have often referred to the “scientific method”, we now find that in applying it we have moved from medicine to the social realm, and in doing so we have had to consider some of the questions fundamentals of our time.

1
Medicine as a social science: Rudolf Virchow on the typhus epidemic in Upper Silesia.

We declare no competing interests.

The references

  1. 1.

    Medicine as a social science: Rudolf Virchow on the typhus epidemic in Upper Silesia.

    Int J Health Serv. 1985; 15: 547-559

  2. 2.

    The Tripartite and UNEP support the OHHLEP definition of “One Health”.

  3. 3.
    • Villanueva-Cabezas JP
    • Rajkhowa A
    • Campbell AJD

    One Health needs a vision beyond zoonoses.

    Transbound Emerg Dis. 2020; 67: 2271-2273

  4. 4.
    • Stroud C
    • Kaplan B
    • Logan I
    • CG gray

    One Health training, research and awareness in North America.

    Infect Ecol Epidemiol. 2016; 633680

  5. 5.
    • Iatridou D
    • Congratulations to
    • Saunders J

    One Health interdisciplinary collaboration in veterinary education establishments in Europe: mapping of implementation and reflection on promotion.

    J Vet Med Educ. 2020; 48: 427-440

  6. 6.

    Extended: The Interdisciplinary Experience: A Survey of Student Expectations of the University of Melbourne Extended Subjects and the “Melbourne Model”.

    () The University of Melbourne,
    2016: 1-88

  7. 7.
    • The University of Melbourne

    Handbook Our planet, our health (UNIB10017).

  8. 8.
    • The University of Melbourne

    Handbook Our planet, our health II (UNIB20020).

  9. 9.

    Thinking in Systems: An Introduction.

    Chelsea Green Editions,
    London2008

  10. ten.

    Caring for the Country: History and Alchemy in the Making and Stewardship of Australia’s Indigenous Lands.

    Oceania. 2018; 88: 183-201


Source link

Comments are closed.