Concept for Student Participation in the 3rd OHCEA
International One Health Conference
24th – 26th July 2019
Kampala – Uganda
The 3rd OHCEA International One Health Conference will bring together a diverse group of young professionals and students from higher institutions of learning, researchers and professionals from various disciplines and backgrounds to share their ideas, experiences and research findings in a bid to find innovative solutions to local, regional and global health challenges. It provides an opportunity for students to interact with practitioners, industry and academic professionals as well as scientists working in One Health in policy and practice, to contribute to existing body of knowledge in OH, and to expand their networks. They will have the opportunity to propose improvements in One Health education and research.
Student engagement in the conference is intended to enhance their knowledge and attitudes to work in interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral teams of professionals at the start of their careers and improving their ability to detect, prevent and respond to infectious diseases. Interdisciplinary capacity building in the workforce is a need identified by the Joint External Evaluations (JEE) in various countries and is in line with the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) [action package 5].
Students will participate in the scientific program of the conference, Global Health Case Competitions, exhibitions and other relevant side events. Relevant skills building sessions will be organized for the Student One Health Innovations Club (SOHIC) leaders and other interested members of the clubs. Opportunities will be explored for the students to engage notable figures in One Health leadership globally.
A total of 60 students are envisaged to participate in the conference, from Africa, South East Asia and the rest of the world.
The Structure of students’ participation
Space will be created for the students and young professionals to participate in different activities during the conference for their maximum benefit. Students will be involved in global health case competitions; oral and poster presentations; exhibitions, side meetings and skills building sessions; and panel discussions.
- Global Health Case Competitions: OHCEA has over time, supported innovative activities that engage students in hands-on learning experiences through Student One Health Innovation Clubs (SOHIC) activities and multidisciplinary field engagements. SOHICs are self-organizing entities that provide space to students to innovate. They build leadership, community engagement, communication and problem-solving skills. These skills are critical for building a workforce that is ready to respond to complex health challenges using multidisciplinary approaches. Currently there are 13 student clubs (SOHICs) spread across the eight countries where OHCEA is operational. The students in their clubs engage in a variety of activities, including debates, case competitions, community outreach, among others. The focus of these activities include sensitization on infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance and bio-risk management, vaccination campaigns, and community innovations that address identified priority health challenges.
Global Health Case Competitions are a high level approach to training the One Health workforce. Done right, the competitions heighten students’ understanding of issues of national, regional and/or global interest and concern. They bring together multidisciplinary student groups to propose innovative ideas and solutions to a provided case on a complex health challenge involving ever-changing and growing infectious disease threats. The groups compete against each other for the best and most innovative solution to the case. A team of faculty and technical support partners are responsible for developing the cases and faculty at participating institutions mentor students throughout the process. In the last three years, SOHICs from all countries have participated in case competitions and debates. At least three OHCEA countries, namely Cameroon, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have expressed interest to participate in the global health case competition at regional level as a way of heightening students’ understanding of issues of regional and global interest and to showcase student innovative engagements.
During this conference, the OHCEA Regional Secretariat will conduct a regional global health case competition. The regional competition shall create space and a platform for cross-fertilization of innovative ideas considering that today’s most pressing health challenges are cross-border. OHCEA seeks to leverage the OH international conference to demonstrate the students’ understanding and articulation of health issues of global concern. Participation in the regional case competitions will be determined by the performance of the institutional and country case competitions. The regional Case and guidelines on how the GHCC will be organized will be developed and shared with the participating institutions. The regional GHCC will be organized, judged and awarded at two levels; 1) Global and 2) Continental.
- Oral and Poster Presentations: Students have been encouraged to submit abstracts for presentations that fit in the respective conference sub themes. The successful abstracts will be presented during the main conference scientific program to enable students speak to a diverse audience. Assessments of students’ oral and poster presentations will be done and best student presenters will receive awards of recognition.
- Exhibitions, side meetings and skills building sessions: Committee members and the student club leaders will explore the possibility of organizing other student events. Some of them may include a side meeting for Africa and South East Asia, to discuss ideas for the NextGen, e.g. low-cost innovations that can be scaled up, a skills development session for enhancing relevant leadership skills for the SOHIC leaders.
- Panel Session speakers:
- One Health Workforce Development – the students’ perspective – what needs to be strengthened and what needs to be re-thought.
- Community and government engagement – through field-based learning activities and programs, students have engaged communities and governments around innovations to complex health challenges, participated in outbreak response and have documented their experiences.