Nutritional sciences senior studies foodborne illness during One Health study abroad program in Nepal

One Health program examines the interconnected nature of human, animal and environmental health, and the direct impact each system has on the others.

Girl with Elephant

Nutritional sciences senior Olivia Porth ventured well beyond the borders of the Great Lakes State during summer semester – she spent three weeks in Nepal as part of MSU’s One Health education abroad program.

She and her classmates studied, traveled through the Himalayas, and toured agricultural areas, research and healthcare facilities, and cultural heritage sites.

In recalling her experience, Porth said “I am so grateful for having had the opportunity to study in the country of Nepal. It’s such a beautiful and unique nation with stunning features, like the Himalayas. The people here are incredibly gracious.”

Porth said that the idea of “One Health,” the interconnection of human, animal, and environmental well-being, is what drew her to the program.

“When in Nepal, each student was to focus on a zoonotic disease and learn about it through lectures and field visits.” (Zoonotic diseases are those that can pass from animals to humans, or vice versa.) Other topics of study included sustainability, childhood malnutrition, conservation of animals, and healthcare.

Porth chose to research campylobacterosis, an illness caused by eating food contaminated with Camplyobacter bacteria. As a nutritional sciences student, she said, “this [disease] was perfectly relevant to my interests.”

At the end of the program, students used the “One Health” concept to develop presentations about the diseases they had studied. They suggested further research topics and disease control programs to students and faculty from Agriculture and Forestry University in Rampur, Nepal.

Porth is a member of the Justin S. Morrill Leadership Fellows, a group of undergraduate students in the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and leadership.

Did you find this article useful?