Supporting Our Neighbors Around the World

Letter from the Director — March 2017

Two months on the job and I have already had the privilege of meeting some amazing people in amazing places. This is unique and inspiring work. Our regional One Health University Networks (OHCEA and SEAOHUN) provide a mechanism to engage a variety of stakeholders around the world. Focusing on priority country needs, the networks support student groups, regional trainings, and faculty development, all with the hope of building resilience to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging disease threats. Many of our successes in these activities can be found in our newly released OHW Year 2 Annual Report. This report showcases our combined effort towards strengthening the One Health workforces within Southeast Asia and Africa.

In some places like Cambodia, sustained hardship and enduring years of struggle can be an obstacle for progress. Yet, Cambodia is experiencing strong economic growth with an average gross domestic product rate of 8%. The country still has many challenges. For Cambodia, the neighboring One Health University Networks serve as a source of collaboration and cooperation to train the next generation of students and re-tool ministry and university personnel. We have the opportunity to engage our colleagues, not only within our own countries in the network, but also in the surrounding region to help build an infrastructure that supports the prevention, early detection, and response to health threats.

As we continue into Year 3 of EPT2, I wish you continued success and encourage you to dream big to inspire your colleagues within your country, surrounding One Health University Network countries, and regional neighbors. With the coming months, we will start to prepare for Year 4 activities by focusing on priority needs for the current and future One Health workforce. Again, this gives us an opportunity to engage our partners and be creative on how to best prepare for emerging pandemic threats. Please apply the collaborative and cooperative One Health approach as we prepare and encourage the next generation of students and ministry partners to be better One Health practitioners.

Wishing you well,
Professor Jeff Bender, DVM, MS DACVPM
Director of the One Health Workforce Project