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  3. Our Planet, Our Health

Our Planet, Our Health (UNIB10017)

Undergraduate level 1Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 1
Subject codeUNIB10017
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This interdisciplinary subject will introduce students to the core concepts of One Health in its broadest sense, as a concept that describes 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 historical progression of animal health, wildlife health and conservation;
  • Sustainable agricultural development, food security and human nutrition across a range of country/development contexts;
  • Emerging infectious diseases at the animal/human interface, the role of infection reservoirs, intermediate hosts and vectors;
  • The ecology of microbial pathogens, including food borne diseases and the development of antimicrobial resistance;
  • Surveillance and response in a One Health framework;
  • Societal norms and behaviours in relation to the intersection of human and animal health;
  • The holistic concept of “One Health” in the context of indigenous health; and
  • Ethical, political, cultural and governance challenges in the “One Health” domain.

Intended learning outcomes

Students undertaking this subject will:

Gain a deeper and broader understanding of the complex interplay between human, animal and ecosystem health including the historical and current influence of anthropogenic change in different cultures and contexts.

Specifically, they will learn to:

  • Discuss the importance of food security and human nutrition for sustainable development in diverse settings;
  • Identify important risk factors and determinants of emerging infectious diseases at the animal-human interface
  • Appreciate the interconnectedness of microbial pathogens across ecosystems, with implications for foodborne disease and emergence of antimicrobial resistance;
  • Describe and discuss the integrated surveillance and response strategies necessary to realise the benefits of a One Health approach;
  • Understand and discuss the powerful role of social and cultural norms, beliefs and behaviours in shaping the intersection of human and animal health;
  • Recognise and appreciate 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 respect 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