MOI UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ ONE HEALTH INNOVATIONS CLUB (MUSOHIC)
Introductory Project Report
Ever thought of a holistic approach to the current global health challenges, an approach that looks at health from a diverse, multidisciplinary lens, beyond just human health? The One Health (OH) approach recognizes that the health of humans, animals and the environment are inextricably linked. One health is a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to health. To therefore attain optimal health for the three basic components of the OH triad, it is crucial to create inter-professional collaborations within and outside human health, animal health and environmental health.
Moi University Students’ One Health Innovations Club (MUSOHIC)-formerly Moi University One Health Students Innovations Club (MUOHSIC)-is a network of students from diverse professional backgrounds coming together to explore One Health challenges and develop innovations around them. This club primarily consists of undergraduate students in the College of health sciences in Moi University-Kenya enrolled in medicine and surgery, nursing, environmental health, medical laboratory sciences, community health education, medical psychology, physical therapy and dental surgery. To make our teams diverse, we collaborate with other disciplines such as pharmacy and veterinary medicine students from University of Nairobi and Egerton University in Kenya. Our collaborations are open to all other to all likeminded professions including sociology, anthropology, and engineering among others.
Many students and professionals are not knowledgeable on the One Health concept since current models of academic specialization encourage development of isolated disciplines within the university setting, creating barriers to academic and professional collaboration. The fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic having brought to light how crucial it is to team up to control and contain pandemics/infectious diseases leaves us possibly thinking how could we break these inter-professional barriers? The One Health Approach is all we need due to its efficiency in addressing current complex global health challenges and those yet to come.
MUOHSIC, formed in 2015, is currently affiliated to the African One Health Universities Network (AFROHUN), formerly known as One Health Central and East Africa (OHCEA). In addition to fostering multi-sectoral collaboration, we have since created huge impact to the health of our communities in Kenya through our activities which include:
1. Community outreaches involving PHC activities, health promotion and education, awareness campaigns such as rabies (education and pet vaccination)-with respect to the health day’s calendar.
2. School outreach-involving primary and secondary schools health education and mentorship.
3. Multidisciplinary medical camps in communities
4. Global health case competitions where multidisciplinary teams of students compete in analyzing complex global health case scenarios synthesize this information within a short time and innovate solutions.
5. One Health Demonstration Site Attachment-This involves multidisciplinary teams of students and professionals conducing community-based field attachment whereby in 3 weeks, these teams work with the select community in needs assessment and prioritization, then design lasting interventions to address the most felt need e.g a select zoonosis in an human-wildlife-domestic animal interface for communities living in close proximity to the parks.
With the emergence COVID-19 pandemic, most of our field activities were paralyzed. We resolved to virtual meetings and collaborations with other Students’ One health Innovations Clubs in Kenya in information sharing and empowerment through webinars and community health education through social media. We have also supported and encouraged our students to work with their local communities, without having to move, by educating them in the simplest way possible e.g hand-drawn posters to control and prevent COVID-19. We intend to continue with more of virtual activities till the world recovers from the COVID-19 storm. Currently, we are preparing a virtual global health case competition which will be captured in the next report.
Simon Peter Oteba,
President,Students' One Health Innovations Club,
School of Public Health,
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal Address: P.O Box 4606-30100, PDN Complex, Nandi Road, Eldoret, Kenya.