Producing Interdisciplinary Competent Professionals: Integrating One Health Core Competencies into the Veterinary Curriculum at the University of Rwanda

J Vet Med Educ. Winter 2017;44(4):649-659. doi: 10.3138/jvme.0815-133R. Epub 2016 Oct 25.


Infectious diseases of grave concern to human health are emerging from wildlife and livestock populations in multiple regions of the world. Responding effectively to these emerging pandemics requires engagement of multidisciplinary groups of professionals. Using a One Health approach, One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA), a network of seven schools of public health and seven veterinary schools, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has engaged in curriculum review with the aim of building the skills of multidisciplinary groups of professionals to improve their capacity to respond to emerging infectious diseases. Through stakeholder analysis and curriculum development workshops, the University of Rwanda's School of Veterinary Medicine, in association with Tufts University, revised its curriculum to incorporate One Health competencies to be better prepared to respond to any infectious disease outbreak in Africa. The revised curriculum aimed to build cross-sectoral skills and knowledge; transform students' ways of thinking about infectious disease outbreak response; link human, veterinary, and wildlife health training opportunities; and strengthen community frontline responder training. Eight different disciplines engaged in the curriculum review process: Veterinary Medicine, Livestock Production, Wildlife and Aquatic Resources, Environmental Health and Epidemiology, Communication Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Public Health. One Health competencies such as communication, collaboration, leadership, and advocacy were added to the new curriculum, helping ensure that each professional be appropriately equipped with skills to recognize and respond effectively to any emerging infections.

Keywords: One Health; curriculum; educational methods; infectious diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / prevention & control
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / veterinary*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Veterinary / methods*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Rwanda
  • United States
  • Universities
  • Veterinary Medicine*