By Deborah Thomson, DVM
Contact info: OneHealthLessons@gmail.com
While teachers and parents are struggling with the idea of having their children return to school during a pandemic, there is a global One Health education movement that is already in full swing. Today, COVID-19 online lessons for children and adults (found on OneHealthLessons.com) are being translated into 43+ languages that are spoken in 96+ countries by over 160 One Health advocates around the world. This Global One Health Education Initiative was started in mid-May of 2020 and aims to educate children in their first language (including sign language) and inspire One Health-focused community action around the world.
The mission of OneHealthLessons.com is to inspire every child on the planet to appreciate the link between our health and the health of animals and the environment. One Health requires teamwork between people of various backgrounds to improve the health of people, the environment, and animals. Around the world, children grow up with the idea that science is broken into silos when, in reality, the silos are connected. For instance, an ecologist should be easily able to converse with veterinarians and physicians when they see increased risk of disease transmission between wildlife and people. We know that young One Health advocates can grow up and become anything they want- STEM professionals, artists, parents, policymakers, and more- and they will have an innate understanding that teamwork is needed to solve and prevent complex problems (such as a pandemic).
It is now time to notify teachers in your community that they can access 7 different age-appropriate, interactive, fun and free COVID-19 lessons at OneHealthLessons.com. The train-the-trainer webinar on the website reviews how to teach the lesson. Each one-hour COVID-19 lesson reviews: (1) where the virus likely came from, (2) how we can protect ourselves today from the virus, (3) what scientists of various backgrounds are doing today to ensure people stay healthy and safe in the future, (4) the importance of vaccines, and (5) different types of mutations.
While over 160 volunteers are actively working toward bringing quality One Health lessons online in 43 languages, we invite you to join the movement and inspire local teachers and community leaders to become passionate about One Health! After all, One Health is teamwork and teamwork is One Health. We need you.