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Japan-China Sasakawa Medical Fellowships Celebrate 20 Years [2007/09/26]

Beijing’s Great Hall of the People


On August 26th, in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, a ceremony was held to commemorate the 20th year of the Japan-China Sasakawa Medical Fellowships. These fellowships enable Chinese doctors and nurses to study for one year at Japanese universities and medical institutions, and the program has come to be a strong bridge of friendship between Japan and China. The celebration was attended by some 1,200 individuals from both Japan and China. The parties involved also announced the decision to seek even higher levels of medical exchange between the two nations by inviting a total of 150 doctors (30 per year) to Japan under a new five-year program that will begin in April 2008.

This program was launched in 1987 by three parties: the Japan-China Medical Association, the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation, and the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China, with support from the Nippon Foundation. In 1992, a special program that subsequently brought select researchers back to Japan was launched to promote ever-more advanced research. Together, these programs have brought more than 2,000 medical professionals from China to study at 200 Japanese universities and medical institutions.

This year’s ceremony was the second such event, following a tenth-anniversary celebration held in 1996. The August 26th ceremony was attended by approximately 500 people from Japan, and 700 Chinese fellows who are currently active throughout China.


Commemorative ceremony attended by 1,200 people


The ceremony opened with special lectures, entitled “Japanese Medicine Today and the Challenges Confronting It” by Dr. Yasuhiko Morioka, Director General of the Japan-China Medical Association, and “Joining Together Medicine and Public Health as Seen in the SARS Crisis,” by Dr. Yin Dakui, Chairman of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association. These were followed by Chinese Minister of Health Chen Zhu’s expressions of gratitude to Japan. “This program is a model for human resource development and has contributed significantly to China’s modernization,” said Zhu. Referring to an ancient proverb, he also commented, “If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” Dr. Chen expressed hopes for the future expansion of the program.
Posted by TNF at 09:58 | Human Resources Development | URL
Traditional Medicine in Primary Health Care [2007/09/19]

Inter-regional Workshop on the Use of Traditional Medicine in Primary Health Care


From August 23 to 26, in Ulan Bator, The Nippon Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored an Inter-regional Workshop on the Use of Traditional Medicine in Primary Health Care. Participants included representatives from four international organizations, including the WHO and UNICEF, as well as 13 nations, primarily from Asia.

At the workshop, The Nippon Foundation’s program to distribute traditional remedy-based home medicine kits garnered praise for the effect it has had on pastoral Mongolian families, who otherwise find it difficult to obtain medical services on a daily basis. The government of Mongolia expressed its enthusiasm for the project. “We wish to communicate the success of this pioneering initiative in applying traditional medicines to the whole world,” said Director Bujin, Healthcare Policy Coordination Office, Mongolian Ministry of Health. The WHO, which called for use of traditional medicine in the Alma Ata declaration of 1978, is closely monitoring this strengthening of community medical services, and has plans to conduct an international conference next year to contribute to expanded use of traditional medicine.

Roughly 220 people attended the workshop, of whom 100 were there to represent their nation or international organization. Other attendees included doctors actively practicing traditional medicine in Mongolia and manufacturers of traditional medicines. Conference activities included field observations, providing opportunities for a broad-ranging exchange of opinions.

Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, greeted attendees in the opening ceremony. “Of the world’s six billion people,” he said, “two billion will die without access to modern medicine. We began this experiment in order to find an effective way to provide traditional medicines…using a system developed 300 years ago in the Toyama region of Japan. We’d like to expand it into something that can be deployed around the world.” (Photo: Chairman Sasakawa greets attendees.)

Dr. Shigeru Omi, Regional Director of the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office said, “Seeing these activities of the Nippon Foundation, WHO realizes the importance of traditional medicine. I feel certain the home medicine-kit system will play a significant role in promoting primary care.”
Posted by TNF at 11:26 | Basic Human Needs | URL
Mongolian Okigusuri: Traditional Medicine Kits for Pastoral Areas [2007/09/12]

A road on the grassy plain


On August 24, a delegation from The Nippon Foundation visited Khentii Province, in Mongolia, some 300 kilometers east of Ulan Bator, to observe the foundation’s traditional medicine kit (or okigusuri) program. Local residents expressed gratitude for the medicine program, while medical officials indicated a desire to further disseminate the program.

Khentii Province is famous as the birthplace of Genghis Khan, and has a population of 71,000, raising 1.5 million head of livestock per year. From a paved road that cuts a straight line through the hills, gently sloping green and yellow plains stretch to the horizon. Beside the road, construction is underway on a massive statue of Genghis Khan. Plans also call for a nearby installation of yurts—traditional Mongolian dwellings—as tourist lodgings.


Genghis Khan rises above the grassy plain
.

The county of Umnudelger, located on the Russian border, has a population of 5,200. The okigusuri program was started in the county in 2005, and since then has reached 500 or the county’s 1,165 households. Nearly 100 percent of the medicines used have been paid for, and the number of emergency house calls has fallen by more than 10% since the kits were first distributed. These numbers attest to the effectiveness of the medicines in daily prevention and first aid.

When the delegation, (in the country to attend an “Inter-regional Workshop on the Use of Traditional Medicine in Primary Health Care”), visited the family of Chizobaseren (72), they were given a warm welcome by more than ten of his children and grandchildren. Said his wife Ergesetko (59) with a smile, “Starting this year, we also received easy-to-understand guides to the medicines’ effects and how to use them, which is very useful. The medicines for colds and other ailments really work well.”


Local residents show off medicine kit.
Posted by TNF at 14:17 | Basic Human Needs | URL
University of Tokyo-Peking University dual master’s program [2007/09/05]

At the ceremony in Peking University


On August 6th, a signing ceremony was held at Peking University for a new dual master’s degree program that will enable Peking University students to study at the University of Tokyo, and obtain master’s degrees from both universities. In attendance at the ceremony were representatives of both universities and the Nippon Foundation. For twenty years, the two universities have conducted academic exchange, but this foundation-supported initiative marks the first time the University of Tokyo has established such a dual master’s program.

Beginning next April, five students from Peking University’s School of International Studies will study international relations for two years at either the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy, or at its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Based on their three-year performance -- including one year at Peking University -- the students will receive dual master’s degrees from both Universities. For now, plans call for courses in Tokyo to be administered chiefly in Japanese. The Nippon Foundation will provide full support for the five students’ transportation, living expenses, and tuition. Acceptance by Peking University of students from the University of Tokyo will also be considered in the future.

The Nippon Foundation’s human-resources development program at the Peking University School of International Studies began in 1994 with the involvement of Japan’s Waseda University. The program seeks to deepen Chinese understanding of Japan by requiring each student to study at a Japanese university for part of his or her time. Through last year, this program had provided scholarships to 130 Chinese students in master’s programs and 32 pursuing doctorates.
Posted by TNF at 11:33 | Human Resources Development | URL