SEARCA joins workshop on integrating One Health concepts in SE Asian basic education

  • 11 July 2023

BANGKOK, Thailand—One Health experts and officials of the specialist institutions of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) have convened recently for a two-day regional workshop on the inclusion of One Health concepts in basic education curriculum across Southeast Asian countries.

Dr. Glenn Gregorio, director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and Ms. Beatrisa Martinez, SEARCA executive coordinator, represented the Center at the workshop held on 22–23 June 2023.

SEARCA joins workshop on integrating One Health concepts in SE Asian basic educationThe workshop was co-organized by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Tropical Medicine Network (SEAMEO TROPMED Network), the Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN), and multinational energy company Chevron.

The diverse group of participants assessed the extent of the current incorporation of One Health-related concepts into basic educational curriculums in the region. The workshop also sought to identify and prioritize key One Health-related concepts that could be feasibly integrated into the curriculums.

An active discussion ensued regarding potential entry points within the curriculums to weave these crucial concepts into existing lesson plans. Various learning methodologies used and their potential application for concept integration were deliberated. In addition, the training requirements of teachers to effectively integrate One Health principles into their classrooms were also examined.

The workshop explored potential facilitating factors for such integration, including the existence of supportive policies related to One Health and other interconnected health issues. The participants brainstormed on potential barriers to integration and proposed innovative strategies to surmount these challenges.

The participation of SEARCA in the workshop is in line with the One Health/EcoHealth approach, one of the seven priority areas identified in the Center's current strategic agenda.

While One Health/EcoHealth approach aligns primarily with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Good Health and Well-being, it also aligns with other related goals, including those that fall within SEARCA's SDG commitment, namely, SDG 2: Zero Hunger and SDG 13: Climate Action.

By promoting sustainable and resilient agricultural practices, the One Health/EcoHealth approach contributes to SDG 2 by ensuring food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture. Moreover, the approach resonates with SDG 13 as it recognizes the impact of climate change on health and advocates for sustainable practices to mitigate climate change and protect public health.