Mongolian doctors visit Toyama Prefecture to studying medicine-kit system [2008/06/23]
Mongolian doctors at a noodle restaurant
On May 19th, a team of Mongolian doctors visited Japan to study the centuries-old Toyama medicine-kit system. The doctors, who came at the invitation of The Nippon Foundation, accompanied salespersons on visits to ordinary homes, acquiring experience and familiarity with the system. This was the third such visit that the program has conducted since its launch in 2006.
Dr. Begzuren Dagwatseren (55), of the Mongolian Traditional Medicine Technology and Industry Association lead 10 women and 2 men on this visit. Since 2004, in cooperation with the NGO Vansemberuu-Mongolia (VM), the Nippon Foundation has promoted a traditional-medicine program in Mongolia, promoting use of the Toyama medicine-kit system in five Mongolian provinces and 15 districts with high nomadic populations. The team that visited Japan this year consisted of program workers who had excelled in collecting payment for medicines used. For Gursed Oyunchimeg (54), who achieved the highest performance, it was the second visit to Japan, following a visit two years earlier. After paying courtesy calls to VM Chairman Yuji Mori, The Nippon Foundation and the Embassy of Mongolia, the team moved on to Toyama for on-site training.
Courtesy calls to prefectural offices and city hall
On the first day in Toyama Prefecture, members of the delegation visited the Toyama prefectural offices and Toyama city hall, meeting with the director of the prefectural Health and Welfare Department and the deputy mayor of the city.
(Photo: A salesperson describes the system before making home visits)
In the afternoon, the team visited the Mizuhashi Home Medicine-Kit Cooperative, where chairman Norio Kikuchi introduced them to three medicine-kit sales representatives. The team then accompanied the salespeople on their rounds, as they visited local residences and restaurants. (Photo: A commemorative photograph taken in front of a statue of a forebear of today's medicine salespeople)
“This was a great day,” said Team leader Dagwatseren, who made visits to individual homes that day. “It was quite a moving experience. I felt I was visiting the heroine’s home from the popular Japanese television drama “Oshin.” Two elderly women told us they'd used the medicine kits since they were children. It's wonderful how Japan preserves its traditional culture, even as it has developed as a modern nation.”
Later, the team went to the Institute of Natural Medicine at the University of Toyama, the Toyama Medicinal Plant Guidance Center, medicinal companies, the Kitanippon Shinbun newspaper, and other sites to observe the use of the Toyama medicine-kit system, before returning to their home country.