Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Public Health
What will I study?
Undertake specialised training in responding to animal health emergencies, particularly those with a potential public health consequence, with the Master of Veterinary Public Health.
Study the selection and interpretation of laboratory tests; project management; advanced disease recognition and control; risk communication; epidemiology; selection and evaluation of control options; simulation exercises and preparedness planning.
Develop scientific and professional skills
Take on a range of disciplines in veterinary science, management, leadership and risk communication.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this certificate.
- Selection & Interpretation of Lab Tests12.5
Selection & Interpretation of Lab Tests
Making a definitive aetiological diagnosis using methods and interpretations consistent with established world standards is a critical part in the early diagnosis of an emergency animal disease and in initiating control/eradication programs. It always relies on testing in a laboratory of samples collected from animals suspected to be infected with the infectious agent of concern. Laboratory testing and correct interpretation of test results is also important in many surveillance programs, which are conducted either to detect presence of the disease in a population or to provide evidence of absence of the disease.
This subject will combine hands-on performance of currently used laboratory tests with lectures, tutorials and workshops with real-life examples to explore the use and limitations of tests and their correct interpretation in different situations. It will provide a basic understanding of the tests to support learning in other subjects concerning diagnosis of specific diseases and general principles of epidemiology and surveillance.
(Note: This is the only subject that will require physical attendance by the student and will constitute the first module of the course. It will be co-ordinated by the University of Melbourne and taught by staff at the University, at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and at the Victorian Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources’ AgriBio Laboratory (Bundoora) and the Victorian Chief Veterinary Officer's Unit (Attwood). Sections of the subject will be taught at each of these sites. It will be offered as a 2-week intensive and will involve lectures, tutorials and hands-on laboratory exercises.)
- Communication in Disease Emergencies12.5
Communication in Disease Emergencies
During emergency situations, effective public communications have been shown to be of crucial importance. Gaining public trust and co-operation during any emergency is a function of ensuring that the right messages are targeted at the appropriate times to the right audiences using the most appropriate media channels. Specifically, in animal disease emergencies, public co-operation is required to maximise good biosecurity and gain maximum compliance with disease management efforts.
This subject will use lecture notes and study materials to educate students on the basics of communications planning, including determining communication objectives, identifying target audiences, messages and media. Practical sessions will expose them to media interview techniques and the drafting of media releases.
- Management in Disease Emergencies12.5
Management in Disease Emergencies
Managing an emergency response and the various components of such a response will require the ability to plan and manage effectively. This subject will impart to students the knowledge required to plan and execute response components using a project management template.
A series of lectures and tutorials will cover leadership skills, delegation and teamwork, and will give details of how to plan, execute, monitor and evaluate a project.
- Epidemiology of Epidemics12.5
Epidemiology of Epidemics
Animal disease epidemics have many unique epidemiological features, most obviously a potential for a high rate of transmission in fully susceptible populations. This expresses itself as an “epidemic curve” where the number of reported cases increases rapidly until control measures become effective, followed by a gradual decline. Thus animal disease managers are faced with a series of common problems when dealing with epidemics, including developing and/or interpreting epidemic models, implementing field procedures to diagnostic test systems for rapid diagnosis and undertaking freedom from disease surveys.
This subject will use online lecture notes and study materials to provide students with an overview of the epidemiology of animal disease epidemics, which will be reinforced with detailed studies of epidemics in later subjects (VETS90087, VETS90088, VETS90089, VETS90090).
- Transboundary Animal Diseases12.5
Transboundary Animal Diseases
This subject focuses on highly contagious livestock epidemics.
Several diseases of domestic mammals are recognised to be of particular importance, due especially to high rates of transmission and/or morbidity and mortality. These include the “vesicular diseases”: foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), Vesicular Stomatitis (VS), and Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD), and two serious diseases of swine: classical swine fever (CSF) and African swine fever (ASF). These diseases have been responsible for two of the most serious animal disease outbreaks in recent time, viz. the CSF epidemic in the Netherlands in 1997-98 and the FMD epidemic in the UK in 2001.
This subject will use online lecture notes and study materials to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the course of several historical vesicular disease epidemics, including the practical diagnostic challenges presented during them. Accordingly, it will deepen the understanding gained from VETS90083 Selection & Interpretation of Lab Tests and VETS90086 Epidemiology of Epidemics.
- Vectorborne & Wildlife Reservoir Disease12.5
Vectorborne & Wildlife Reservoir Disease
This subject focuses on vector-borne and wildlife reservoir emergency diseases.
Many emergency animal diseases in the recent past have a complex epidemiology, either involving insect vectors and/or or wildlife reservoirs. Many of these outbreaks were initially new or emerging, and in some cases were zoonotic. Accordingly, they posed challenges to control and eradication not encountered with simpler vesicular disease epidemics. Examples include West Nile Fever (WNF), Bluetongue virus (BTV), African Horse Sickness (AHS), and infection with the henipaviruses, Hendra and Nipah.
This subject will use online lecture notes and study materials to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the course of several historical vector-borne and wildlife epidemics of farm animals, including the practical control and eradication challenges presented by them. Accordingly, it will deepen the understanding gained from VETS90083 Selection and Interpretation of Lab Tests and VETS90086 Epidemiology of Epidemics, and expand on the understanding from VETS90087 Transboundary Animal Diseases.