The Initiation of Travel Medicine in the World of One Health: Professor Jeff Bender Visited Indonesia
On April 17th, Professor Jeff Bender, a Professor in the University of Minnesota who is also the Director of USAID One Health Workforce Project, visited One Health Collaboration Center (OHCC) in University of Udayana (Bali) and OHCC in the University of Airlangga (Surabaya). Prof. Jeff is highly skilled in directing a broad range of research and surveillance projects pertaining to infectious and zoonotic diseases—especially those which requires multidisciplinary collaborations, whether it is with scientists in academia, governments, industries, nor commodity organizations. In his stay in Indonesia, he was first welcomed by Prof. Wiku Adisasmito, Prof. Agus Suwandono and many others from the Indonesia One Health University Network (INDOHUN). This meeting was then proceeded with a discussion regarding INDOHUN’s future planning.
Prof. Wiku started the meeting by sharing his intention to initiate travel medicine in Udayana University—a project which the University of Minnesota had already started. Travel medicine is a branch of medicine which deals with the prevention and management of health problems of international travelers, of which includes the epidemiology and surveillance of travel-related infectious disease, vaccine-preventable disease, illness in returning travelers, aviation medicine, and tropical medicine1. The meeting was then followed with the discussion of Disease Emergence and Economic Evaluation of Altered Landscape (DEAL) and its progress throughout the year. Nisa, an INDOHUN staff who is the project coordinator of DEAL, shared the plan to conduct a scientific writing training, especially of those which explores new perspectives on tropical diseases and travel medicine, in West Papua, East Kalimantan, and Riau through collaborating with local universities. Sadly, this kind of research is thought to be elusive, particularly due to the limited data which are available. To make this kind of research possible, the role of Ministry of Health is very crucial.
Next meeting was then carry through, where Prof Jeff and the team prepared to meet the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Yudayana University, which were then followerd by the discussion of EPT 3 (Emerging Pandemic Threats) project—an ongoing collaboration project that consists of international agencies, universities and research centers including UNFAO, WHO, PREDICT-2 (lead by the Eijkman Institute and Agriculture Institute of Bogor), Preparedness and Response (managed by DAI), One Health Workforce (led by INDOHUN), Palang Merah Indonesia (PMI) and The Internasional Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). It was stated in the meeting that the members of the EPT should involve more countries, other than the original members (Indonesia, Lao, Cambodia and Myanmar).
The last meeting of the day focused on discussing INDOHUN’s upcoming project, some of which include the Global Health True Leaders (GHTL), Global Health Diplomacy (GHD), academic and curriculum of one health, online learning, komodo run, and One Health Laboratory Network (OHLN).
Prof Jeff spent April 18th, the second day of his stay in Bali, developing travel medicine masterplan in Udayana University, together with the rector of the Udayana University herself. The progress of which were then recorded and given to the rector of Udayana University and the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia.
Later, on the same day, a symposium of travel medicine was held. This symposium was attended by 70 participants from the Faculty of Medicine, Udayana University and by the dean herself. The topic of travel medicine has always been considered interesting by the Udayana University. The Education Unit of the Universitas Udayana has developed Travel Medicine courses which were adapted from the WHO. The Udayana University has also developed a laboratory for travel medicine. For years, staff and lectures from Udayana University had studied travel medicine abroad—and thus they are able to held the one and only Travel Medicine International Conference in Indonesia in 2012. It was stated in the symposium that in the future, they would build a traveler’s clinic in the Udayana Hospital.
It should be of note that traveler’s clinic is available in Singapore and Thailand, and yet there are none in Bali, Indonesia. Bear in mind that there are 5 million foreign tourists who came to visit Bali each year2, thus traveler’s clinic should be consider compulsory.
April 19th, the third day of which Prof Jeff stays in Bali, was filled with general lecture with its main topic “One Health and Food Safety”—where Prof Jeff shared his lecture to students about food borne diseases.
On April 20th, Prof Jeff, accompanied by INDOHUN staffs, went to Surabaya where he met the Vice Dean of Airlangga University. Stated in the meeting was the plan to build research partnership and network between professors from universities in Indonesia including Airlangga University and universities in US, especially that now Universitas Airlangga has created centers for tropical diseases and stem cell centers. Prof Jess, too, had the chance to share the progress of One Health Workforce (OHW) to the vice dean of Airlangga—highlighting his interest in Universitas Airlangga’s One Health Collaboration Center (OHCC) achievements and its development.
As a closing remark, topic relating to travel medicine, emerging diseases and tropical medicine are important in the world of public health—and its relation to One Health is inevitable.
- Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease Becomes the Official Journal of RCPSG’s Faculty of Travel Medicine [Internet]. Elsevier.com. 2010 [cited 26 April 2018]. Available from: https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/travel-medicine-and-infectious-disease-becomes-the-official-journal-of-rcpsgs-faculty-of-travel-medicine
- Post T. Indonesia aims to attract 7 million tourists to Bali in 2018 [Internet]. The Jakarta Post. 2017 [cited 26 April 2018]. Available from: http://www.thejakartapost.com/travel/2017/12/20/indonesia-aims-to-attract-7-million-tourists-to-bali-in-2018.html
Indonesia One Health University Network
Communication and Networking Team