France, SEARCA to build manpower to address animal-human health interface in Southeast Asia

  • 11 February 2016, Thursday

Source: The Philippine Star
11 Feb 2016

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – France, with the support of a Southeast Asian center based here, is set to build a cadre of professionals to handle the health risks brought about by human, animal and ecosystem interactions.

Dubbed “InterRisks” (International Double Master’s Degree Programme InterRisk), the French-initiated project will be supported by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) based in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

SEARCA, said director Gil Saguiguit Jr., will support joint scholarships to enable Filipinos and other Southeast Asians to pursue the program at Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand and Veterinary School of Toulouse in France.

ÏnterRisk is a new international master’s program that provides extensive academic training on evaluation and management of health risks considering the `One Health’ approach, SEARCA said. It is centered on the assessment and management of health risk at the human, animal and environment interface.

A joint venture of the French government through the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development, KU, and Veterinary School of Toulouse, “ÏnterRisk” will enable students to get a double diploma in health risks management from both French and Thai universities.

At the program’s launch in Bangkok, Thailand, last Jan. 12, Saguiguit said SEARCA’s goal is “for these joint scholarship programs to not only enhance and broaden the specific areas of study in the field of agricultural and rural development, but also to promote internationalization of higher education in view of the ASEAN economic integration.”

SEARCA is also looking forward to developing a training course that will create increased awareness and enable people to fully understand the health risks at the human, animal and ecosystem interface.

“SEARCA’s support for the pioneering Master’s Program highlights its mandate of building capacities of individuals and institutions working in the broad area of agricultural and rural development, including animal health, human nutrition and food security,” Saguiguit said.