Mekong One Health Innovation Program



Congratulations Dr. Furqan Irfan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology and Director of Research Development in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, on receiving a US Department of State Grant award for $738,750 USD for the Mekong One Health Innovation Program (MOHIP).  The recent COVID-19 pandemic (a zoonotic disease) has created a heightened interest in education, awareness, and capacity building in zoonotic diseases (infections that are spread between animals and humans). Approaches to manage outbreaks vary from country to country providing opportunities for sharing experiences and best practices.


Adoption of the One Health approach to prevent and control zoonoses has resulted in several positive outcomes, such as increase in awareness, coordination and cooperation among stakeholders, and sharing resources for zoonoses management. Necessity for strengthening capacity of veterinary and medical professionals in developing countries, especially for examining the situation of zoonoses in their countries and formulating and implementing timely prevention and control regimes have become more important than ever. Also noted is the urgency for engagement of stakeholders at a wider and deeper level to create awareness and partnerships utilizing the One Health approach and devise and revise policy and practices as the zoonoses evolve.


The United States (U.S.) has been the premier country for conceiving and adopting One Health approach. The U.S. government institutions such as CDC, U.S.-based universities, and wildlife conservation agencies, and institutions involved in intra- and intercountry trade are employing One Health approach with positive outcomes in public health. The CDC One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization Workshop introduced and shared several measures and tools to prioritize zoonotic diseases, and review and visualize the One Health system to address the zoonoses in the United States. This workshop served as the milestone towards a unique U.S. approach to One Health, ensuring that all stakeholders have a shared vision and roadmap for implementing One Health strategies for disease surveillance, response, preparedness, workforce, and prevention and control activities in their current and future areas of focus. Using these tools, the U.S. prioritized its zoonotic diseases as zoonotic influenza viruses, salmonellosis, West Nile virus, plague, coronaviruses (e.g., severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome), rabies virus, brucellosis, and Lyme disease. Following successful application in the U.S., CDC experts with training on One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization (OHZDP) have been helping other countries with prioritizing zoonotic diseases of greatest concern. The CDC experts have helped over 23 countries including Thailand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China from Asia with this expertise (CDC, 2022).

Within this context, Michigan State University (MSU) team comprising faculty from College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Dr Ramjee Ghimire), College of Osteopathic Medicine (Dr Furqan Irfan) and Institute of Global Health (Dr Qing Xia) propose a cooperative project to work with researchers from Laos, Vietnam and Thailand to incorporate the One Health (human-animal-environment nexus) approach and share the resources and tools related to health security.


The overarching goal of the project is to connect the Mekong and U.S. researchers and train Mekong researchers with the tools for researching health security related issues, informing health security policies, and strengthen the One Health approach in their country. This project will also help in human capacity building in the Mekong region and people-to-people engagement between Mekong and the U.S. researchers and foster partnerships that they could carry forward.


The project aims to create a transnational network between Mekong and U.S. researchers and practitioners focused on health security, especially using the One Health approach; and create a funding program for Mekong researchers to carry out proposed research projects related to health security in Mekong, including those using the tools shared by the U.S. experts or being used in the U.S.



Developed by DECS | Contact Information | Privacy Statement | Site Accessibility

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer

© Michigan State University Board of Trustees, East Lansing, MI 48824