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One health education in Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya): From a MOOC to projects on real world challenges

Isabelle Bolon / Jade Mason / Paul O'Keeffe / Philippe Haeberli / Hassan Abdi Adan / Joel Makamba Karenzi / Ali Abdirahman Osman / Samuel Mwangi Thumbi / Veronicah Chuchu / MutonoNyamai / Sara BaboMartins / Nadja C.Wipf / Rafael Ruiz de Castañeda

 

Today, the world counts millions of refugees but only a fraction of them have access to higher education. Despite the multiple public health problems in refugee camps and the need to build local capacities to prevent and combat them, University level courses in public health are largely unavailable for refugees. This paper describes the development, implementation and evaluation of an innovative two-module blended-learning programme on One Health in Kakuma refugee camp (Kenya). This programme combines: (I) Interdisciplinary and multi-expert MOOC on “Global Health at the Human-Animal-Ecosystem interface”; (II) peer-to-peer learning involving students from University of Geneva Master of science in Global Health and research collaborations around specific and locally-relevant problems; (III) online mentoring and lecturing by experts from the Institute of Global Health in Kakuma. A total of 67 refugees applied to Module 1; 15 started the Module 1 in October 2017, of these 14 completed it and 6 passed the exams, finally five students started the Module 2 in October 2018 which they all passed in February 2019. Five student-led collaborative projects were developed focusing on the conception of a community-based monitoring system for prevalent diseases in the camp. With such a pedagogic approach, the programme provides an overview on Global Health challenges at the human-animal-ecosystem interface and the importance of the One Health approach, and introduces students to scientific research through interdisciplinary and international collaborations and innovation. The high number of applicants and positive feedback from students in Kakuma show the interest in One Health education in the camp. This learning experience ultimately aims at building local knowledge and capacity fostering “One Health” champions to reinforce local and national health system. This framework for One Health education could be potentially scaled up to other camps in Africa and the world.

 

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