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Assess the Need for Advanced Education and Training in Veterinary Public Health and the Management of Infectious Disease

Investigators
Lindenmayer, Joann
Institutions
Tufts University
Start date
2008
End date
2008
Objective
  1. Investigate and validate the apparent need of Indonesian veterinarians and extension agents for advanced education and training in Veterinary Public Health in a stepwise approach that begins with a certificate program and expands to include postgraduate masters level training; this will answer the question: If you had more training in Veterinary Public Health, what do you think you could do better? And: If you had more training, what could you do that you cannot do now?
  2. Assess the scientific and anecdotal evidence for the impact of advanced education on local, regional and national efforts to prevent and control diseases of Veterinary Public Health significance; this will answer the question: What is the strength of the evidence and experience for the effect of advanced education on preventing and controlling diseases?
  3. Assess interest among senior administrators and faculty members at Indonesian Veterinary Schools for joint participation in mutually beneficial efforts to educate and train students in veterinary public health using Tufts University Sciences Knowledgebase (TUSK), a comprehensive, integrated education and knowledge management platform, with a relational database backend and user-friendly interface built with open-source software. This Tufts tool contains curricula of the schools of veterinary medicine, medicine, dental medicine, and nutrition and was recently adopted for use by several countries in East Africa for public health instruction.
  4. Assess the extent to which national, regional and local veterinary and human health professionals a) interact and b) collaborate to practice veterinary public health and conduct veterinary public health research.
  5. Integrate the sub-group assessment reports into recommendations that support and guide the development of an educational model designed to improve disease prevention and control at local, regional and national levels.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University (TCSVM) proposes to partner with the Rockefeller Foundation to conduct a one-year Planning and Needs Assessment to determine the potential benefit of advanced education and training in Veterinary Public Health in Indonesia relevant to the local management of infectious disease transmission in Indonesia. We will establish an informed body of knowledge on which to stage a multi-year project addressing this topic, complemented by the formation of a participatory network that links the organizations necessary to advancing the project's goals. The proposed methodology is predicated on the "One Health" concept recognized as the most effective way to address and sustain prevention and control of zoonotic diseases that threaten global health and economic development. Utilizing Tufts' established in-country network and relationships at the village and district levels, and with international NGOs and government agencies, we propose to employ Indonesia's response to avian influenza as a test of its Veterinary Public Health Services. This disease model aptly illustrates the interwoven relationships between public health, veterinary and environmental health, and economic stability and resilience for rural populations. The proposed planning grant will also investigate the extent to which veterinary public health services, delivered to benefit animal and human populations, are shared between veterinary and human health professionals in the context of avian influenza prevention and control. In the generic sense, this is the One Health framework that gives the impetus to new collaborations and partnerships for public health practice and research. The long-term overarching goal of the proposed initiative is to improve Indonesia's ability to respond to important zoonotic diseases that pose threats to people within the country and worldwide. Hypotheses of this planning grant include: 1) there is a need for advanced training in veterinary public health practice and research at multiple levels in the Indonesian system; 2) the need may be met by providing additional training to existing veterinary professionals (and potentially training local "para-professionals" to expand reach) and other public health professional services reflective of the One Health model; and 3) provision of training will improve current efforts to prevent and control diseases of economic and zoonotic significance to Indonesia. This project will complement Tufts' significant investment and experience in veterinary public health in the global arena and support the university's mission to contribute to the advancement of humanity and improvement of today's global community and environment.

APPROACH:
Specific aim #1:
1. The team will design and administer a survey tool to assess educational needs of Indonesian veterinarians and extension agents related to current efforts to prevent and control avian influenza. The tool will determine self-reported needs for advanced training, potential incentives for advanced training, and perceived impact of advanced training on job performance and avian influenza prevention and control efforts. The sample frame will include practicing public and private veterinarians, extension agents and selected members of the MoA and Indonesian Veterinary Schools.

Specific aim #2:
1. The team will develop a methodology for conducting a literature search of publications that evaluate population health outcomes of providing advanced education/training to health professionals. The team will adapt methodology utilized in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Guide to Community Preventive Services) for the purposes of this review. The team will apply this methodology to develop evidence-based recommendations for advanced educational programs to promote community and population health.
2. The team will travel to Thailand to hold discussions with program administrators and faculty members of Universities that currently offer advanced education in Veterinary Public Health in Southeast Asia.

Specific aim #3:
1. Project team members at Tufts will meet with senior staff of Tufts University Sciences Knowledge Base (TUSK) to develop questions assessing the feasibility of implementing TUSK in Indonesia. Interviews will be conducted in all five Indonesian veterinary schools and schools in other countries to be visited.

Specific aim #4:
1. The team will design a standardized, structured interview to identify the extent of interactions between human and animal health professionals at local, regional and national levels. Areas to investigate include diagnosis, passive/active case reporting, surveillance, service provision, program implementation, cost-sharing, policy and program development, evaluation and research. The group will evaluate the strength of interactions range from sharing information to active collaboration for program and/or policy development or research. The interviews will use HPAI as the basis for question development but will also examine strength of interaction before the avian influenza epizootic to assess extent to which HPAI has affected scope and depth of interactions, and to anticipate what may happen should funding for avian influenza prevention and control efforts be reduced or halted entirely.

Specific aim #5:
1. Identify representatives from the Government of Indonesia, NGOs, and Tufts and invite their participation in summarizing findings and drafting recommendations for advanced veterinary public health models.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
MASV-PV1196
Accession number
213621
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens