Capacity building is vital for effective One Health programs

One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems. With the increasing threat of global health challenges such as antimicrobial resistance and emerging infectious diseases, we urgently need to adopt a One Health approach that brings together multiple disciplines and sectors to effectively tackle these challenges in a harmonized manner.

Infectious Diseases and One Health (IDOH) is a partnership of some of Europe's leading research-intensive universities in the field of infectious diseases and One Health. The three founding partners are Université de Tours, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Hannover Medical School.

To mark the first Infectious Diseases and One Health Day, IDOH held a one-day conference on 2 September 2022 in Tours, France. The international conference brought together students, early career professionals and leading researchers to discuss how One Health approaches can be used to develop and implement integrated programs to effectively address infectious diseases and other global health problems.

Keynote lectures and presentations covered a range of topics under the themes of One Health in action, bioinformatics, disease modelling, and infectious disease preparedness.

The conference was a timely occasion to learn from examples of how One Health has been applied in research and the management of infectious diseases in different countries and regions.

This learning experience was particularly useful for the students in attendance as it offered insights into the range of options available for professional career development in the field of infectious diseases, from research and academia to working in industry, government or international agencies.

Among the presenters was Hung Nguyen-Viet, co-leader of the Animal and Human Health program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and leader of the CGIAR Initiative on One Health.

Drawing on his wide-ranging research expertise on food safety and One Health in Southeast Asia and Africa, he presented on One Health in the livestock sector and capacity building in One Health. He discussed collaborative approaches that have been used to strengthen national One Health platforms and research partnerships in Kenya and Vietnam.

He also discussed a project on Capacitating One Health in Eastern and Southern Africa that seeks to develop the continent’s next generation of One Health practitioners, and gave an overview of One Health and ecohealth programs in Southeast Asia.

He emphasized that capacity building should be an integral part of the One Health research and development agenda at national, regional and local levels. Effective engagement across the animal, human and environment health sectors is also key to effectively detect and respond to the threat of emerging infectious diseases.


Hung Nguyen-Viet and Schillinger, D. 2022. One Health and livestock: Capacity building and operationalization in the global south. Presentation at the 1st Infectious Diseases and One Health Day, Tours, France, 2 September 2022. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.

Photo credit: Research on livestock vaccines (ILRI/Paul Karaimu)