Receiving foreign trainees to Nagasaki – What we can learn about medicine from remote islands and places

Seiji Kato, Professor
Center for International Collaborative Research

Since 2008, Nagasaki University has conducted the “Enhancement of regional health and medical system – focusing on islands/remote healthcare in Japan,” which is targeted at government health officers in various countries in Africa, Asia, and Oceania, and is sponsored by JICA.

Nagasaki Prefecture has over 50 inhabited islands and is one of the most distant places from the center of Japan, so we have been working toward developing public health systems in these remote islands and places for many years. From Nagasaki prefecture’s unique case, trainees taking part in the local health administration of developing countries are able to study the changes in Japan’s public health system and current administration, as well as the medical facilities located within the prefecture. The purpose of this training was for the trainees to apply the knowledge that was gained in healthcare policies and administration in their own countries.

This training is held for one month of every year, and the trainees will visit Nagasaki City, Goto City, Shinkamigoto, Hirado City and even Tokyo. This year, we received cooperation from not only the teaching faculty of Nagasaki University, but from Nagasaki prefecture, Nagasaki City, the Nagasaki Hospital Agency, Goto City, Shinkamigoto, the Nagasaki Medical Center, and a number of educators related to the field as well. This training was supported by the appreciation and cooperation of 20 visiting institutions and over 40 lecturers from a wide range of medical fields.

It is difficult to establish and place health-field workers in rural areas. This issue of securing medical staff is something that both Japan and developing countries need to deal with. Another shared concern of top priority is how to address the issues of healthcare finance and national health insurance within their own countries. In particular, much interest seems to have been garnered regarding experiences with endemic diseases, including the eradication of Filariasis within Nagasaki prefecture, lifestyle diseases and health promotion efforts, and health insurance systems.

JICA, along with all of the trainees, holds in high-regard all of the individuals involved whose support they have received.


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