International Cultural Boma: a training and mentorship model for capacity development in one health

Article Authors: Samuel George Okech, Samuel Majalija, David Okello Owiny, Francis Ejobi, Gabriel Tumwine, Paul Ssajjakambwe, Stevens Kisaka, Margaret Loy Khaitsa, &, John Baligwamunsi Kaneene, Florence Wakoko, William Sischo, Douglas Freeman, Baljit Singh, Claire Card, Charles Mulei, Kiama Gitahi, Robinson Mdegela, Berihu Gebrekidan, Maurice Byuka, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Bill Epperson, Robert Wills, Hart Bailey, John David Kabasa



“International Cultural Boma”, in an African context means a meeting that allows learning and a two-way exchange of information between elders and youngsters. African culture involves the transfer of wisdom and knowledge from the – wise, knowledgeable, and highly experienced – elders to the young that are mentored into responsible community members. Under “Capacity building in Integrated Management of Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses (CIMTRADZ)” project, every summer, two-to-three days were dedicated to the International Cultural Boma. The Boma provided CIMTRADZ partners the opportunity to network, share research, mentor students, offer workshops, and develop further research collaborations with special emphasis on One Health principles and practices. One Health is “the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment”. CIMTRADZ partners from East and Central Africa (ECA), United States, and Canada, actively engaged in the Boma activities (workshops, scientific presentations, mentoring students from multiple institutions and disciplines, including, veterinary medicine, public health, wildlife, medical laboratory technology, microbiology, animal production and food safety). The Boma enabled interaction of students and faculty from East and Central Africa, United States, Canada, and other stakeholders, including funding agencies, non-governmental organizations, and government. This interaction resulted into faculty and student exchange, student mentorship, joint research, publications, and grants. The Boma successfully contributed to development of the One Health Global Workforce and The Global Health Security agenda goals. This paper summarizes the Boma proceedings, lessons learned, and the way forward.

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