Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.19
Interchange program of young epidemiologists specialized in infectious diseases in Asia
Report from St. Luke’s International University and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases
The Asian region is considered to be a hot zone of many infectious diseases, and the establishment of a network of researchers of infectious diseases and the sharing of appropriate information will greatly contribute to the countermeasures against infectious diseases in each country. In addition, Japan has a history of overcoming infectious diseases since the chaos of the aftermath of WWII when sanitation became so deteriorated, and the information and knowledge obtained from the experience may contribute to other rapidly developing Asian countries as important references.
In this project, Asian countries conducted research in the field of epidemiology of infectious diseases, and Japan invited young researchers who have been studying countermeasures against infectious diseases. St. Luke’s International University and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases jointly organized the interchange program for invited researchers and the young researchers who have been taking the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) in Japan with symposium and workshop to participate for nine days from June 28th to July 6th. This time, eight FETP trainees from Thailand, Mongolia, Myanmar and Taiwan participated in the program.
On the first day, a special lecture by the Director General of Nobuhiko Okabe of the City Institute for Public Health, Kawasaki was held at St. Luke’s International University Hospital. The researchers learned about the necessity and importance of collaboration among Asian countries in fighting against infectious diseases. After that, FETP trainees presented the problems and the countermeasures concerning infectious diseases in their countries, as well as in Japan.
On the second day, Professor Gilmour of St. Luke’s International University introduced an infectious disease mathematical model of HIV as an example. After that, they observed Japan’s state-of-the-art examination and diagnostic technologies and therapies at St. Luke’s International University Hospital. Then they took a tour of the Kawasaki Institute for Health to see the actual site where infectious diseases are treated in Japan.
In the second half of the program, they spent most of their time at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and participated in the seminar by Professor Jose Binongo of Emory University in the USA presenting biostatistics. In the seminar, he introduced and explained the analysis method based on biostatistics, and the participants participated in an exercise to learn the analysis method by using actual sample data.
The participats had many interactions, including introduction of the cultures of their countries, demonstration of calligraphy by the Japanese FETP trainees, and a welcome party when they were not participating in lectures during the program period. On the weekend when they were participating in the seminars, they visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation and learned about the excellent Japanese science and technology, including the field of infectious diseases.
The young researchers exchanged opinions and shared their experiences in various fields during the period participating in this program. Joint research and information sharing are anticipated to accerelate using the network they have built in the interaction during the program, and hopefully it will lead to the formation of the foundation of future measures against infectious diseases in participating countries and regions including Japan.