One Health: Diseases at the Human-Animal Interface (PUBH7031)

The course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to be able to investigate and develop control programs for zoonotic diseases using multidisciplinary approaches, within a One Health framework.

There is a need to develop mechanisms for intersectoral collaboration to address public health issues at the human-animal-ecosystem interface. These include zoonotic diseases such as leptospirosis and food borne illness as well as potential pandemics of influenza and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which are world-wide threats. The United Nations recently declared AMR as one of the greatest threats to global health and human development and that it requires every nation to develop a whole of society approach, such as One Health, to address the threat.  One Health recognises the need to understand the characteristics of the systems that lead to zoonotic disease risk and then apply this knowledge to identify points of intervention that may lie outside the health system by applying the principles of systems thinking.

This highly practical course is has been designed to provide an insight into the complex biosocial/bio-economic systems associated with human populations that lead to the emergence or occurrence of zoonotic diseases. Students will use systems thinking to build conceptual models to describe these systems based on case studies and develop integrated intersectoral strategies that might be used to manage and prevent zoonotic diseases. Course staff have continuously improved the content and training approach used during the course based on their personal experience in One Health activities in China and the Pacific region to ensure it is relevant to contemporary public health practice.

This course aims to enhance the knowledge and practice of individuals with an interest in working in the emerging field of health security and emerging disease prevention and control. At the end of the course the student should be able to:

  1. Critically assess the bio-social context of a zoonotic disease and develop a systems model to identify key drivers of disease occurrence and the key stakeholders involved
  2. Identify the roles, responsibilities and needs of key stakeholders in one health problems (i.e. Government Ministrys of health and agriculture, WHO, FAO, OIE, The World Bank and affected communities)
  3. Apply the principles of systems thinking to identify, quantify and manage risks in complex community systems and to identify feasible solutions
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of one health and the application of these principles to determine the key epidemiological features of common zoonotic diseases (including the epidemiology and transmission of pathogens and their social, economic and environmental impacts).
  5. Demonstrate effective communication (oral and written), group work and reflection skills.
  • Health professionals (medical doctors, veterinarians, health economists, public administrators, planners, social scientists and health system specialists) who are interested in this multidisciplinary field. 
  • MPH students from The University of Queensland and other academic institutions who are currently undertaking their MPH or similar degrees.
  • MSc and PhD students in epidemiology, health economics, public health and veterinary sciences.


About the course

Course Coordinator
Associate Professor Simon Reid

About enrolment or course fees

Teaching Support Officer
Lisa Laletina