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Our Planet, Our Health II (UNIB20020)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeUNIB20020
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This interdisciplinary subject will challenge students by covering key One Health threats and responses, considering the interconnectedness of the health of humans, animals and the environment. Key themes that will be explored during the course, with reference to case studies, will include:

  • The different scales of human, animal and ecosystem health threats in a global context;
  • The impacts of today’s choices on tomorrow’s therapeutic options, considering the threat of antimicrobial resistance;
  • The concept of “One Health” in the context of improving Indigenous health, both in Australia and overseas;
  • Balancing competing needs to achieve agricultural development, food security and human nutrition in specific international contexts;
  • The influence of anthropogenic disturbance on the emergence of new infectious disease threats and importance of reservoirs, intermediate hosts and vectors;
  • Competition for space: wildlife and community health versus urban sprawl;
  • Controlling emerging infectious diseases and zoonoses at their source;
  • Climate change and its impacts on vector-borne disease;
  • Forced and voluntary migration and the relationship between human disruption and health threats; and
  • Social control, social conflict and social justice in the One Health domain.

Intended learning outcomes

Gain a keen understanding of the most important challenges at the interface between human, animal and ecosystem health and will develop the ability to synthesise successful strategies for improving health outcomes in different cultures and contexts. Specifically, they will learn to:

  • Identify important risk factors and determinants of emerging infectious diseases at the animal-human interface
  • Discuss objectives and approaches of programs that advance the health of humans, animals and the environment (i.e. One Health programs) in a global context
  • Describe and discuss the interconnectedness of microbial pathogens across ecosystems, with implications for foodborne disease and emergence of antimicrobial resistance
  • Understand and discuss the powerful role of social and cultural norms, beliefs and behaviours in shaping the intersection of human and animal health, including the importance of appropriate engagement with and learning from Indigenous cultures to support ecological research and understanding
  • Identify approaches to balancing the competing needs to achieve food security, human nutrition and sustainable development in diverse settings
  • Critically consider the complexity of important global, regional and local health challenges
  • Discuss successful strategies for dealing with the various political, cultural, economic and governance challenges that impede the implementation of One Health in diverse settings.

Generic skills

  • Develop academic excellence with an in-depth knowledge of the area of One Health, develop an aptitude for continued self-directed learning and become adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies
  • Become knowledgeable across disciplines, including an ability to examine critically, synthesis and evaluate knowledge (incorporating knowledge and skills from their own discipline with those of others), are able to participate fully in multi-disciplinary collaborations and to confront unfamiliar problems
  • Be able to become leaders in their communities through the engagement in meaningful public discourse on the subject of One Health and related disciplines and develop excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills
  • Will be attuned to cultural diversity through valuing different cultures, having an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our and other communities and respectfully engage with and learn from Indigenous knowledge, cultures and values
  • Will become active global citizens, by accepting their social and civic responsibilities, being advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment and having a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics

Last updated: 11 October 2019