The Center for One Health (COH) at Cebu Technological University (CTU) engages in studies related to health issues shared by humans, animals, and our environment. COH is based at the College of Veterinary Medicine in CTU Barili Campus and operates in collaboration with the Institute for Molecular Parasitology and Vector-Borne Diseases (CTU Main Campus), Institute of Food Science, Innovation, and Technopreneurship (CTU Main Campus), and the College of Agriculture (CTU Barili Campus).
A lead Center in the field of One Health in the region for research and development studies that link human, animal, and ecosystem health.
To promote cross-sectoral collaboration, communication, and respect among human and animal health professionals in strengthening the health and well-being of our people, animals, and the environment.
To assist CTU in collaborating with partner institutions and be recognized as the leading institution for health research in the region.
To establish a research center that will specialize in and lead One Health research in the country;
To provide an avenue for researchers to conduct relevant research, development and extension activities and request for external funding related to the Center;
To strengthen the curricular programs offered by the College of Veterinary Medicine and allied institutes and colleges of CTU;
To form and/or strengthen local and international research collaborations and linkages;
To mentor institutional, local, and regional researchers on Veterinary Medicine, Laboratory Animal Testing, and Animal Production; and
To generate research publications and publicize outputs of research activities conducted in the Center.
The Center is focused on:
Animal studies that investigate new treatments for human diseases;
Antimicrobial resistance studies to address the problem of microorganisms growing despite exposure substances that inhibit or prevent their growth;
Food safety and food hygiene studies to safeguard public health;
Functional food product evaluation for health benefits using animal models.;
Investigating associations of animal disease events and environmental health hazards.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
One Health is a concept that combines health concerns for humans, animals, and their shared environment. Scientists have in the past recognized the similarities in human and animal diseases but these were managed separately. In recent years, however, the advent of global disease threats and the appearance of diseases by pathogens not previously considered harmful (emerging infectious diseases) as well as diseases transmissible between humans and animals (zoonoses) have facilitated the birth of the concept which has become a movement that is being embraced worldwide to control and/or prevent these diseases. In a nutshell, One Health focuses on the collaboration and communication among health practitioners concerned with protecting humans, animals, and the ecosystem.
The concept that human and animal health is linked is not new. Being located in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines is prone to threats from a number of animal diseases that are endemic in other countries. When these diseases cross national boundaries, they pose a threat to a country’s agricultural output and can limit its access to international markets due to the extensive quarantine and other measures that must be undertaken in order to secure a geographical area. Some of these pose direct threats to human health. Examples of such diseases include Avian Influenza (AI), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), and Rabies. The Philippine government has already taken steps to control these diseases through collaborative efforts with various agencies and stakeholders (pet owners, government agencies, LGUs, NGOs, and academe) even before the concept got its name. The veterinary profession is the primary mover in this concept because of its involvement with animals.
In the face of increasing human and animal health populations in a changing environment, the One Health Concept has become increasingly important in recent years. Maintaining the health of the ecosystem is very critical in equally protecting both human health and animal health. With the growing problems related to zoonotic, emerging, reemerging, and transboundary diseases worldwide, the concept slowly gained global attention, recognition, acceptance, and support. This has now become a movement.
In line with the One Health concept, the Cebu Technological University prepares to participate in the movement by creating a Center for One Health that caters to the needs of the scientific community and the health of animals and the general public. This Center will seek collaboration with the appropriate individuals, associations, and institutions who can contribute to its One Health efforts. In addition, it will conduct health research for the University, primarily through grant applications based on selected research themes that align with the priority study areas dictated by its targeted funding agency. It will conduct research that translates knowledge or approaches from animal research to address human diseases as well as those that draw from the human field to address animal diseases. In the long run, the Center will engage in studies that are concerned with the improvement of both animal productivity and human nutrition.