Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.20

Learning the Prevention and Management Strategies for Interdisciplinary Lifestyle Diseases Established in Kagawa

Report from Kagawa University

With the improvement of living standards in ASEAN countries, the rapid increase in lifestyle diseases, particularly diabetes and obesity, is problematic. The importance of their treatment, prevention and improvement has been recognized. Meanwhile, in Kagawa, the region has collaborated as a "team Kagawa" to work early and enthusiastically on solving the problem. It has attained notable results. To return the achievements attained in Kagawa to a wide range of ASEAN countries, we invited a total of 10 young teaching faculty, doctors, nurses and graduate students from Chiang Mai University in Thailand, the University of Health Sciences in Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam University in Brunei, the University of Putra Malaysia in Malaysia and 175 military hospitals in Vietnam to implement a training to overcome lifestyle diseases from December 1 to December 7, 2019.

At the Opening Ceremony
<Day 1>

Upon arrival, at the hotel, Mr. Wada, the Chairman of the International Exchange Committee, Faculty of Medicine, held an orientation for the program. This was combined with a lecture on the significance and attractiveness of Japanese studies and research activities in Japan.

<Day 2>

A ceremony was held in the morning at Kagawa University Faculty of Medicine in the presence of the Director Ueda of the Faculty of Medicine. Continuing in the afternoon, country reports were given which allowed the participants reciprocally to introduce and debate their current situations and initiatives being made for lifestyle diseases in their countries. The debate was very animated and provided a great opportunity for the trainees to develop bonds. They were able to recognize both the problems common to the participating countries and the problems inherent to each region. Note that this report was video-recorded, shared among instructors, and the like in this program, and is used to optimize training content.

Country Reports

The participants then listened to a lecture on mass screening for familial hypercholesterolemia in Kagawa by Kawakami Assistant Professor of the Department of Cadrio Renaland Cerebrovascular Medicine. The evaluation by the trainees was particularly high for this lecture. We heard some opinions that this was the most impressive lecture of all that were offered.

In addition, the participants had the opportunity to visit the various labs within Kagawa University. The participants toured the endocrine metabolism, advanced medicine and laboratory medicine courses, which have achieved notable results related to rare sugars, and the skills lab, which has diverse simulators and training facilities and is open to medical staff in Kagawa Prefecture as part of a community medical support and lifelong learning support project. Furthermore, the participants were briefed on biomaterial development by Assistant Professor Kurihara in the Medical Chemistry Course lab. I got the impression that actually visiting the latest research and education sites at Japanese universities greatly aroused the participants’ eagerness to conduct collaborative research in Japan.

At a Course in Endocrine Metabolism, Advanced Medicine and Laboratory Medicine
Medical Chemistry Course Tour

That evening, we held a joint welcoming party with the Winter Medical Seminar for students at the University of Brunei Darussalam Faculty of Medicine, held just in the same period, which gave us the opportunity to exchange views closely with interested parties in the school.

<Day 3>

At Kagawa University Faculty of Medicine, the participants heard a lecture by Assistant Professor Suzuki, in the hygiene course, which gave them an overview of the current situation and initiatives for lifestyle diseases in Japan. In addition, Dr. Lyu at a Course in Endocrine Metabolism, Advanced Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, gave a lecture introducing advanced research with the title: "D-Allulose functions in endocrinology: What we have known?" In conjunction with the previous day's tour of the lab, I think the participants understood the high level of medical research being conducted at Kagawa University Faculty of Medicine. In the afternoon, the participants received a detailed lecture on the latest medical information system led by Kagawa, typical of K-MIX, entitled "Medical Informatics” given by Professor Yokoi of the Medical Information Department of the University's affiliated hospital.

In the evening, the participants visited Melody International, a venture company started in Kagawa that is developing telemedicine devices, and were briefed on systems such as fetal heart rhythm monitors and future business developments, as well as were given a tour of the manufacturing process.

Visit to Melody International
<Day 4>

The group moved its location to the Saiwai-Cho North Campus at Kagawa University and paid a tribute visit to Professor Tokuda Masaaki, Vice President for International Strategy and Global Environmental Development. Vice President Tokuda introduced Kagawa University's strengths and strategies for future collaboration with universities in various Asian countries, and moved on to encourage discussions with the trainees. Continuing on, this was followed by a lecture by Vice President Tokuda entitled "Raresugars, Functional Sweeteners Changing Our Life Style" that was on the physiological function of rare sugars and their application to foods, and the like. All of the participants seemed to have been impressed by the status in which rare sugars born in Kagawa are being applied to diverse foods.

Still further, a lecture on "Physical Activity and Health" was given by Associate Professor Miyatake of the Department of Hygiene, Faculty of Medicine. The participants then visited the Kagawa Prefectural Association of Preventive Medicine after visiting a local confectionery shop that manufactures and markets Japanese confectionery that utilize rare sugars where they were treated to Japanese confectionery. Director Otani explained the flow of the work, and equipment used in examinations. The trainees seemed to have fully understood this because Director Otani had provided preliminary materials.

<Day 5>

The participants then boarded a bus to Hiroshima Prefecture where they toured the Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum after lunch on Miyajima. The trainees visited quietly in a solemn spirit.

<Day 6>

In the morning, along with the Director of Medicine, international students from Brunei also gave results presentations and we held the completion ceremony. Each of the participants made a presentation on what they had learned in the training, and engaged enthusiastically in discussions that developed on whether sufficient results could be achieved, particularly for the individual achievement goals indicated in their Country Reports. At the completion ceremony, all the trainees were handed their completion certificates by the Director of Medicine.

After the completion ceremony, although it was in the afternoon, everyone had the opportunity to visit the Kagawa Rehabilitation Hospital. Assistant Director Kawai gave a lecture on lifestyle diseases and vascular complications, among others, and further explained their respective roles by physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and hearing therapists. The participants also toured the field of functional recovery training. Many of the trainees were surprised by the efficient collaboration between diverse occupations.

<Final Day>

Everyone enjoyed lunch at Ritsurin Garden and then headed home in the evening.

Although it was only a one-week program, the trainees seemed to have had great interest in combating lifestyle diseases in Kagawa. Some participants have voiced their desire definitely to revisit Kagawa to learn more in the future. I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Sakura Science Exchange Program for the valuable opportunity we were given.