University of Melbourne students learn use of One Health approaches in livestock research from ILRI researchers in Vietnam

A group of four students from the University of Melbourne, School of Veterinary Sciences participated in a two-week internship with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Vietnam to learn about the use One Health/EcoHealth approaches in livestock and food safety research, policy, and practice.The student group was accompanied by David McGill from the same faculty.

Study visit of University of Melbourne students

The students have lectures at ILRI office in Vietnam (photo credit: ILRI/Chi Nguyen).

From 23 September to 7 October 2017, ILRI scientists including Hung Nguyen, ILRI regional representative for East and Southeast Asia, Fred Unger, a senior scientist at ILRI, and other senior researchers shared how ILRI uses One Health and EcoHealth processes in its programs in the country to tackle human and animal health disease risks. Special emphasis was given to participatory epidemiology and ILRI’s food safety work in Vietnam. The students also learned the medical applications of One Health from Hardisman Dasman, an ILRI postdoctoral fellow using a case study from Indonesia. Value chain analyses and the system dynamics model was introduced by Karl Rich, a senior scientist at ILRI.

During the internship, the students also visited and learned from researchers at the Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA), the Hanoi University of Public Health (HUPH) and the Hanoi Medical University. They also visited and learned from local small-scale and commercial pig farms in Hung Yen (Red Mekong Delta) and Hoa Binh (Northwest) provinces.

Rowe Madeleine Lee, one of the students found particular value in the field visits to Hung Yen and Hoa Binh Province. She said that she was able to see the theories she studied put into practical application really reinforced those concepts and enhanced her learning experience.

Hung Nguyen commented that this cooperation between the University of Melbourne and ILRI is expected to pave the way for further cooperation between the two organizations in One Health and food safety research. More specifically, Fred Unger added that future collaboration will be explored within the ongoing SafePORK project, an ACIAR-funded initiative to improve food safety along the pig value chain in Vietnam.

More photos of the internship can be seen on ILRI Flickr.