Two years ago, Dr. Karlyn Eckman of the Water Resources Center at the University of Minnesota took notice of shifting cultivation, subpar water quality, and food insecurity in the northeastern state of Mizoram in India. This interest was sparked when Mr. Chongthu Chawnghnuna, the supervising engineer for the Public Health and Engineering Department for water supply in Mizoram, spent four months at the University of Minnesota as a Fulbright scholar.
The Prince Mahidol Awards Conference (PMAC) is held each January in Bangkok, Thailand, in honor of its namesake who is revered as the country’s father of public health. This year, nearly 1000 professionals from academia, government, NGOs, and private industry convened to discuss One Health cross-sectoral approaches in fighting infectious diseases. PMAC was attended by several people from the University of Minnesota, including GIFSL director Dr. Will Hueston, veterinary public health resident Dr.
The One Health approach has gained steam over the last decade as a means of facilitating trans-disciplinary collaboration to address global health issues. Six true stories of effective applications of One Health are now available. Dr. Jamie Umber, who coordinated the story compilation, says that "there is growing knowledge that people remember compelling stories better than they do scientific data," but rather anecdotes.