Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.13

Exchange program for young researchers in infectious disease epidemiology in Asia

Report from St. Luke’s International University and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases

The Asian region is a hot zone where many infectious diseases are widespread. However, establishing a network of infectious disease researchers and sharing appropriate information will have a great effect on the control of infectious diseases in each country. In addition, Japan has a history of overcoming infectious diseases since the tumultuous post-war period during which hygiene conditions deteriorated. The knowledge and experience of Japan will serve as an important reference for countries in the rapidly developing Asian region.

This exchange program was jointly held by St. Luke’s International University and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) over a ten-day period from July 31 to August 9, 2019. In the program, young researchers working in the field of infectious disease epidemiology in order to address infectious diseases were invited to Japan. Together with young researchers affiliated in the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) at the NIID in Japan, the invitees participated in symposiums and workshops in order to deepen exchange between the two groups of researchers. The recent program featured participation from a total of nine FETP trainees from Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Korea and Taiwan.

Symposium held at St. Luke’s International University
Day 1:

At St. Luke’s International Hospital, FETP trainees gave presentations on issues and countermeasures related to infectious diseases in various regions including Japan. Next, participants visited Japan’s state-of-the-art infection control system at St. Luke’s International Hospital. Dr. Omagari Norio (Director of AMR Clinical Reference Center, Center Hospital of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine) gave a special lecture. Participants learned about drug-resistant bacteria in Asia, as well as the necessity and importance of infection control.

At St. Luke’s International Hospital
Day 2:

Dr. Yahara Koji (Antimicrobial Resistance Research Center, NIID) introduced the Japan Nosocomial Infections Surveillance (JANIS). Afterwards, participants toured the Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health, which is a site for fighting infectious diseases in Japan.

In the second half of the day, participants moved to a different venue to attend a lecture by Michael Bell, MD, of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Bell explained public health response to drug-resistant bacteria while introducing and describing actual cases in the United States, and explaining practical exercise problems.

At the Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health
Biostatistics seminar at the NIID

During the program period, various exchanges were held even outside of lectures. For example, there were introductions of local cultures, as well as a calligraphy demonstration and welcome party by the FETP in Japan. On weekends during the seminar, participants visited Miraikan (the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) and experienced Japan's science and technology, including the field of infectious diseases.

Calligraphy event at the NIID

Through this program, young researchers exchanged opinions and shared their experiences in various fields. We hope that the networks formed through these exchanges will promote joint research and information sharing, and will form the basis of infectious disease countermeasures in participating countries and regions, including Japan.