A Workforce to Thwart Infectious Diseases

December 10, 2015
A young black child lies supine and looks at the camera as a gloved hand performs an examination.

Girding for battle with foes like the Ebola virus, University of Minnesota researchers are leading an international effort to ensure nations have the skilled health care workers they need to battle the spread of infectious diseases like Ebola as they emerge.

The One Health Workforce project, funded by a five-year award of up to $50 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development, is building a stronger workforce of health professionals in 11 countries that currently lack the professional resources needed to respond to a pandemic threat.

More than 20 University researchers contribute to the project, including experts in public health, medicine, nursing, and veterinary medicine. The project focuses on disease surveillance, training, and outbreak response, but not only for doctors, nurses, and public health workers. It also brings in veterinarians, as the majority of these diseases spread from other animals to small populations of humans, often in rural areas.