I was a One Health Fellow, this is what I learned
By Aurore Nishimwe, Cohort Seven Fellow
I was recently awarded the One Health fellowship which is an initiative of The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), The University of Rwanda (UR) and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University (USA).
The One Health Collaborative (OHC) aims to “train the next generation of leaders through a One Health approach; utilizing systems thinking to equitably improve the health of humans, animals, and the environment using multidisciplinary training, evidence-based research, and implementation science.”
The six-week fellowship from May 21 to June 29, 2018 included a one-week leadership and advocacy training, a four-week individually tailored placement at a US-based organization The Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts (HECCMA). The last week was set aside to attend the 5th International One Health Congress in Saskatoon, Canada.
The fellowship was indeed a great opportunity as I gained implementation research skills, learned about the scope, relevance and key characteristics of implementation research. As well as identified a wide range of areas to apply these skills which will help to improve the health of humans and/or animals. In addition, I became more aware of using evidence-based research. These skills are instrumental to my doctoral study which is an implementation study.
My placement at HECCMA gave me a chance to explore opportunities for collaboration between the regional colleges’ many STEM-based graduate programs. My research resulted in a graduate-level cross registration feasibility study that has been shared with HECCMA member institutions.
I also learned about public-private partnerships and valuable skills in leadership, communications and advocacy. I was also able to network with lecturers at several US Universities. The critical thinking and writings skills that I got from the various CARTA trainings were critical in my successful application for the fellowship.
The One Health Fellowship program is a bilateral, global exchange initiative, designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance One Health leadership and professional skills, and build lasting and sustainable partnerships between the Fellows, Rwandan institutions, and partners in the United States (US). The Fellowship program aims to create a network of OH leaders who can use their professional knowledge to minimize public health threats in their countries and communities through targeted OH leadership training, deliberately crafted fellowship placements, and creation of strategic and sustainable partnerships.
The fellow is from the University of Rwanda and registered at the University of the Witwatersrand.