Training on the Prevention of Wildlife Zoonoses and Tropical Ecosystem Health
On 17-21 May 2017, Malaysia One Health University Network (MyOHUN) held the Training on the Prevention of Wildlife Zoonoses and Tropical Ecosystem Health in Sandakan, Sabah. 40 participants from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UniMAS), Universti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Universiti Malaya (UM) from the Medical and Veterinary background attended the training. Also involved in this training are the workers from the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC) and 6 fellows from Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN) from Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh and Malaysia. Project Leader, Dr. Tengku Rinalfi Putra Tengku Azizan, said that this training mainly focused on the diseases that can be transmitted from animals to human and vice versa. Other than that, this training also aimed to build awareness of the endangered wildlife animals and what causes them to be enlisted as endangered species.
Participants were introduced to the training through several lectures from the experts such as Dr Chris Whittier and Prof. Dr. Stanley Gordon Fenwick from Tufts University, United States. Participants were then introduced to a module of Orangutan case. Using the PBL approach of an Orangutan case through several triggers, participants were asked to fill up a FILA (Fact, Idea, Learning Issue, Action) table to investigate the case using the facts given in the triggers. On 19th May, the training continued with a field visit to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre which was held in order for the participants to have a closer experience and also to imagine what they have learnt through the triggers in relation to the behaviour, habitats and also food intake of the animal investigated. The next day, a trip to Gomantong Cave and Kinabatangan River gave participants more exposure on how wild animals live and their behaviour in their natural habitat.
On the last day of the training, each group presented findings on each trigger given, and share their experiences during the training. Ilyas Hanafi Razali, a second year student of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from UPM said that from this training, he gained more knowledge, experience and it also benefited him for his future endeavours. He also mentioned that this training gave him a huge impact on how an infectious disease can wipe out a whole species if we did not take any action to prevent it from happening.
The participants began their journey home with better understanding of the wildlife, human and environment interaction and an appreciation of the importance of working together to achieve a common goal in preventing infectious diseases. The training exposed the participants to the awareness as future ambassadors of One Health where working together can make a better world in future.