Introduction to Global One Health


About this course

The core idea of Global One Health is that health of people, animals, plants and their environments are closely connected, and that the causes for environmental problems and human/animal ill-health easily cross borders. Clear examples are the spread of avian influenza or Ebola, the emergence of antibiotic resistance, the global causes of malnutrition, and health problems linked to water pollution. The insights of how different problems has implications for the study of health problems and for policies to prevent disease and environmental degradation.
In this introductory course students explore central approaches, concepts, and practical dilemmas in Global One Health. The aim is not just to understand and learn to use basic tools and concepts in epidemiology and veterinary and public health interventions, but to critically reflect on them as well. This involves understanding and questioning the aims of health policies, comparing different concepts of health, getting familiar with epidemiological studies and approaches, and analyzing and discussing ethical dilemmas in Global One Health practice. Is it ethically justified to cull many animals to prevent possible human infections, e.g. in the case of avian influenza? How to understand responsibility for emerging antibiotic resistance, or for malnutrition? Is ecosystem health just a metaphor or a sensible concept?
Cases will include, for example, specific zoonoses like Q-fever, antibiotic resistance, the role of water basins for pollution/infections, and malnutrition.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Understand the complex of causal connections between environmental, animal and human health, and underlying (e.g. social) determinants, and of the interdisciplinary nature of Global OneHealth
  • Present and discuss several cases of Global OneHealth, outline causal connections between human/environmental/animal health, and suggest possibilities for protecting and promoting health
  • Understand and critically reflect on normative assumptions in core concepts as used in research and policies, such as health, OneHealth, summary measures of health (e.g. DALYs), health equity, resilience
  • Present and discuss the ethical dimensions of health problems and of possible interventions; and the dilemmas that occur due to conflicting values

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    10 February 2025

    • Ends
      7 March 2025
    • Term *
      Period 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 12 Jan 2025
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University