Activities Overseas

Temple-based health promotion study in Sri Lanka

Temple-based health promotion study in Sri Lanka
Date: August 18th-22nd, 2018
Participants: Tetsuya Mizoue, Ami Fukunaga (National Center for Global Health and Medicine)
Reporter: Ami Fukunaga
Our research team visited Sri Lanka for our new project “temple-based health promotion study in Sri Lanka” between August 18th and 22nd, 2018. Our previous studies focused on community health promotion through empowerment of school children or members of community-based youth club/society, but this new study aims to promote healthy community through empowerment of children attending Sunday schools at temples (Buddhism Dhamma schools). This approach is very unique from previous studies.  
On the first day, we visited one of temples where children aged 5-15 years learn about Buddhism from monks and teachers every Sunday. Under support of the Foundation for Health Promotion (NGO organization), this temple started educating children on health promotion, enabling them to act as change agents for healthy community.
During our visit, they kindly hosted a welcome party for us. For a welcome speech, one of teachers talked about the significance of the intervention and how it helped her lose 2kg in a short time period. Some children played a drama, which reflected a powerful message about risks of drug use, one of major social issues in Sri Lanka.
We also had a meeting with Dr. Samarasinghe (a former prof from the University of Colombo), Dr. Gunawardena (Sri Lanka WHO), Mr. Fernando (The Foundation for Health Promotion), and Mr. Indrawansa (The Foundation for Health Promotion). We went through the study proposal and mainly discussed about the study protocol including feasibility of using stepped wedge cluster randomized trial.
On the second day, we visited Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka office and had an opportunity to share results of our previous studies and progress of the new study. They shared information regarding NCDs trend and school based health promotion activities in Sri Lanka. On the last day in Sri Lanka, we had an opportunity to talk with Dr. Wickramasinghe (Deputy Director General for Non-Communicable Disease from the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka). We hope to collaborate with her in near future.
Through this visit in Sri Lanka, we were able to see clear image of the new study and develop new essential networks. We hope that children from Sunday schools at temples will promote healthy community through this new study. 

  ​Group picture at the temple                                                ​Children’s drama play about drug use risk

  ​Poster for health promotion, created by children    ​Mr. Indrawansa and Dr. Mizoue

  ​Communication with friendly children at the temple

Board Meeting @Osaka University

I am Yuko Teshima, a master degree student from The University of Tokyo and a member of JC-GSHR!
JC-GSHR (Japanese Consortium for Global School Health Research) held a meeting at Osaka University. Even though we usually have a meeting every month online, it was a great time to have a face-to-face talk with the members. We discussed UNESCO chair, Edu-port, a publication about Japanese school health, and Asia School Health & Nutrition Training Course in 2019 and so on.

After the meeting, we enjoyed Osaka soul food 'Takoyaki' and 'Okonomiyaki'!

(Edu-port means JAPAN Dissemination of Japanese-style Education Using the Public-Private Collaborative Platform (EDU-Port Japan Project)


Activitiy report on ecoealth educaion at Pakse Teacher Training college in Lao PDR

May name is Sora Iwai, master course student, Faculty of education in Tokyo Gakugei university in Japan.
Currently, I have been dispatched to Laos as Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs). About 4 months have passed since my arrival in Laos in February 2018. My assignment as JOCVs is to conduct, monitor and evaluate Ecohealth Education at Pakse teacher training college. Ecohealth Education is a view of human health and also a new research field that pursue sustainable economic development of society, comprehending individuals, society, and the environment from a dynamic perspective. Because there has been no existing subject corresponding to Ecohealth Education in the teacher training college, it is required to introduce it as a subject by repeating trainings and trial lessons to this end. Therefore, at the end of March we invited teachers from other universities in Laos and conducted training on Ecohealth for them in collaboration with Prof. Asakura from Japan. The training comprised practical contents such as creating trial lessons using textbooks of Ecohealth Education (photo ① & ②). In addition to activities in the teacher training college, we carry out health checkups, tooth brushing instructions and hand wash instruction at the elementary school attached to the university (photo③④). Before entering the rainy season break, I conducted some Ecohealth classes successfully, using the Ecohealth Education textbooks (photo⑤). Since I am not still fluent in Lao language, I feel the difficulty of communicating with Lao people and working together. I have three ideas for my future activities: The first one is to improve teachers’ awareness of transition from existing subject to Ecohealth subject. The second is to prepare teaching plans and plans of trial lessons with Ecohealth Education textbooks. Third, we are planning to continue health checkup and health education at attached elementary school.
Teacer's training on ecohealth educaion at Pakse Teacer training colleges                                                      Health check up at attachment schools
Teeth brusing activities at school                    ecohealth education lesson at Pakse teachet training colleges

Introduction of Ecohealth education activity at Savannakhet Teacher Training College

My name is Azusa Morozumi, Master course student, Faculty of Education in Tokyo Gakugei Univesrity in Japan.
Since 2011, Dr. Takashi Asakura (Tokyo Gakugei University) and Dr. Sachi Tomokawa (Shinshu University) have been conducting programmes on Ecohealth education in Laos. As part of the programmes, I have been dispatched to Savannakhet Teacher Training College (STTC) which is one of the model schools of Ecohealth education as a Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteer since 2017. I work with teachers of the STTC Ecohealth faculty members in cooperation with the National University of Laos and the Ministry of Education in cooperation in order to develop Ecohealth education activities in STTC and other Colleges. At the beginning of my activity in STTC, Ecohealth education was a new subject for Laotian people. Teachers did not have enough knowledge and concept on ecohealth, so we started from building a foundation to foster understanding. We are  mainly engaged in three activities. The first activity is trainer trainings. We are conducting trainings for trainers of Ecohealth education. In this training, we are in charge of a model lesson based on the textbook, and after the model lesson, the trainees are grouped and create a lesson plan. The same trainings have been held at other model schools (ex. Luang Prabang, Pakse), and in these trainings, we carry out a model lesson with the teachers who completed the training at Savannakhet. As a second activity, I carry out classes of Ecohealth with a teacher in classes of existing subjects for introducing Ecohealth education as part of the curriculum. Finally, we conduct health checkups twice a year at the attached elementary school of STTC. Ecohealth education has many conceptual contents. Since it is difficult to explain those ideas concisely, we I and counterpart teachers, keep in close communication. At the beginning of my activity in STTC, I thought it was difficult for teachers to think about this subject because they hadn’t learned it. So, I often felt expressing my opinions one-sidedly. However,  as we work together and accumulate experience, the teachers’ understanding and ability of guidance  have developed. And now, they sometimes give positive opinions. In the attached elementary school, implementation of health checkups became one of the pleasures among children. Teachers become eager to follow up their growth through recording the growth of children in a visible form. And they are motivated to continue  regular health checkups in the future. I think that health checkup materials are easy to understand for children and it makes children feel health checkup something interesting like play, so they have the opportunity to learn. I think teachers are motivated by such children’s learnings. I feel motivated more by the teachers working together and cooperating closely. From now on, we will train more teachers and practice further activities to cultivate capable teachers in developing activities who are to play a core roll in Ecohealth education. Even from now on, we would like to develop activities and practices in Teacher Training Colleges in collaboration with counterpart teachers to realize the Ecohealth education necessary for Laos

  ecohealth educaiton training for teachers in Savannakhet Teacher Training College                      Health check up at attachement schools
Results of helth check up                               Comparing height data (means data) of each glade  

The 7th Annual Course on School Health and Nutrition Programmes in Asia

Date: 11th - 17th February 2018
Venue: Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
Particiapants from JC-GSHR: Jun Kobayashi (University of the Ryukyus), Takashi Asakura (Tokyo Gakugei University), Akihiro Nishio (Gifu University), Mika Kigawa (Kanagawa University of Human Services), Erika Yoshimoto

   The 7th Annual Course on School Health and Nutrition Programmes in Asia was held from 11th February to 17th February 2018 at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. The course was organized by Japanese Consortium for Global School Health (JC-GSHR), Mahidol University, and Partnership for Child Development (PCD) with support from Global Partnership for Education and the World Bank. The objectives of the courses were to strengthen partnership among school health practitioners, to provide evidence-based teaching on school health and nutrition programme implementation, and to strengthen capacities of the practitioners (both Education and Health Sectors). Through the 7-day course, following five key topics were addressed: Importance of School Health and Nutrition Policy, Focus Resources on Effective School Health (FRESH) framework, Adolescent health, School based non-communicable diseases prevention including food education and health checkup, and Inclusive education. Participants learnt about these and developed their own action plans in order to deal with challenges they face.
   This year, 34 participants who work for school health programmes, such as governmental and UN officers, from 11 countries (Pakistan, Kenya, China, Nepal, the Phillpines, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Djibouti) took part in the course. From JC-GSHR, Prof. Jun Kobayashi, Prof. Takashi Asakura, Assoc. Prof. Akihiro Nishio, Dr. Mika Kigawa, and Ms. Erika Yoshimoto participated in the course and gave lectures to the participants. In addition, Dr. Yoshihisa Yamazaki from Aichi Children's Health and Medical Center and Assoc. Prof. Elli Sugita from Osaka University also gave guidance to them to assist in deepening understanding on school health and making the action plans. 
   Apart from the lectures, we traveled to Nakornpathom province to visit the best schools, Wat Mai Sukhontharam school and Samphran Witthaya school, in school health activities in Thailand on 15th Feb. Both schools actively have implemented school health activities based on clearly defined school health policies while involving many actors, such as community members, effectively. Furthermore, a special symposium, Mainstreaming Inclusive School Health and Nutrition, was held on 16th Feb with special lecturers. It was a great opportunity for us all to learn the importance of Inclusive education. On 17th Feb, the last day of the course, the participants presented their final action plans which they developed based on the learning from the course and pledged efforts to tackle challenges through their programmes. We believe that the learning from the course help them a lot even after going back to their countries and wish they success in the programme implementation. 
    Finally, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of the support we received and to participants' active participation and kind cooperation. The course could not have finished successfully without these kind supports. 
Please feel free to contact us if you have any question on or are interested in the course. Detailed activities are also available on our facebook page, Asia School Health and Nutrition Network ( 

                                      Opening ceremony                                                                    Lecture by Prof. Jun Kobayashi                                                  Lecture by Prof. Takashi Asakura 

                                          Group discussion                                                           Discussion with lecturers  (at the symposium)               Group photo (with teachers and pupils at Wat Mai Sukhontharam school)

               IEC material created by students (Samphran Witthaya School)              School garden (Wat Mai Sukhontharan School)                                Final action plan presentation 

Consultation meeting on an evidence review - for developing an integrated intervention package for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention and control in schools in Africa

We organized consultation meeting with WHO HQ and school health experts from ESACIPAC ( Prof Njenga) and WACIPAC ( Dr. Irene) for an evidence review - for developing an integrated intervention package for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention and control in schools in Africa, Tokyo, Japan, 9th March. In this meeting, we shared findings of systematic review and gray literature reviews in Kenya and Ghana which were conducted by cooperation with WACIPAC in Kenya (Prof.Njega)and ESACIPAC in Ghana(Dr.Irene). Thanks to support by Dr. Makino who is working in WHO HQ, we could fruitful discussion for future implementation and researches on NCDs prevention and control in schools in Africa.

Latrine Handing Over

Date: September 5th, 2016
Place: Agiro Primary School, Lianda Primary School and Kuge Primary School at Mbita, Kenya
Patricipants: Rie Takeuchi (Nagasaki University), Takeshi Akiyama (Nagano College of Nursing), Chikako Katsuno (University of the Ryukyus)

Nagasaki University is running a school health project titled "Project for Supporting Health from School to Community" which is funded by JICA in Mbita sub county, Kenya.
The project has handed over V.I.P. latrines to 3 primary schools on 5th September, 2016. From Japan Consortium for Global School Health Research (JC-GSHR), Dr. Rie Takeuchi (JC-GHSR member), Dr. Takeshi Akiyama (JC-GHSR member), and Chikako Katsuno (JC-GHSR member) attended this event.

Based on the 3rd School Health Audit, the project constructed boy's latrines for Agiro Primary school and girl's latrines for Lianda Primary School and Kuge Primary school. Messages about health promotion is written on the walls. Children, teachers and parents looked so happy to see new latrines.

                             Girl's latrines at Kuge Primary                                                                                       Girl's latrines at Lianda Primary

                             Boy's latrines at Agiro Primary                                                                                        Handing Over at Kuge Primary

             Project Staff Mrs. Liz is explaining about the project                                              Project coordinator Mr. Kazama is telling the importance of latrines                


An intervention study to enable young people to act as change agents to reduce cardiovascular risk of their community in Sri Lanka

An intervention study to enable young people to act as change agents to reduce cardiovascular risk of their community in Sri Lanka
Date:August 8 (Mon) to 9 (Tue), 2016
Participants: Tetsuya Mizoue (National Center for Global Health and Medicine), Keisuke Kuwahara (Teikyo University Graduate School of Public Health)
In Sri Lanka, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are growing concerns. Through the empowerment of children, our study group has addressed the prevention of NCDs not only for children themselves but also their parents and people in their community. In the second phase of the research projects, we conducted a randomized controlled trial to prevent mothers’ obesity through their children(Gunawardena et al., Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 2016;13:45).
In the third phase from 2016, we launched a new research to reduce cardiovascular risk among adults in the community through young people who are members of a community-based youth club/society. During our research visit in Sri Lanka, we joined in the training session for the youth who are responsible for the baseline survey. The lecturers were Mr Indrawansa (The Foundation for Health Promotion), Former Prof Samarasinghe (University of Colombo), and Dr Abeyratne (University of Colombo). Participants listened intently to the lectures and made a practice of measuring blood pressure, body height and weight, and waist and hip circumference.

(Explanation about procedures of measurements by a lecturer)

(Explanation about blood pressure measurement by a lecturer)

(Training for measurement of blood pressure)
On the next day of the training session, we visited a community for baseline survey with Mr Indrawansa, Dr Abeyratne, and Prof Gunawardena. The survey will continue for one month; after that, intervention will begin in the target communities. We hope that the young people will play a role as promotors of NCD prevention through the research project.

(Reception of participants)
(The interview)
(Explanation after the measurements)

Mizoue team meeting and JC-GSHR monthly meeting

Date: June 20th, 2016
Place: National Center for Global Health and Medicine
Participants: Tetsuya Mizoue(National Center for Global Health and Medicine)、Masamine jimba(The University of Tokyo)、Jun Kobayashi(University of the Ryukyus)、Sachi Tomokawa(Shinshu University)、Akihiro Nishio(Gifu University)、Megumi Sato(Nigata University)、Mika Kigawa(Toyama University)、Hasegawa(Osaka University)、Keisuke Kuwahara(Teikyo University)、Shamima Akter(National Center for Global Health and Medicine)、Ikeda Sumire(Nigata University)、Erika Yoshimoto(Nagasaki University)、Kazumasa Ueda(Shinshu University)、Sora Iwai(Shinshu University)、Chikako Katsuno(University of the Ryukyus)

 An annual Mizoue team meeting and a monthly Japanese Consortium for Global School Health Research meeting were held at National Center for Global Health and Medicine on June 20. The objectives of these meeting were that to share the progress of each working group and to discuss about the future activities. Board members of the consortium participated in the meetings.

 Firstly, progress on each project was presented by leaders of each group as part of the Mizoue meeting. Dr. Mizoue presented a school-based project in Sri Lanka. According to his presentation, the project aims to prevent the incidence of NCDs, especially by promoting community health through empowerment of youth activities. Dr. Tomokawa told about the Eco Health Education project in Lao PDR, Dr. Jimba mentioned his project in Thailand and Nepal which aim to describe the factors that could work positively and negatively for implementation of school health at policy levels. Furthermore, Dr. Nishio presented his Inclusive Education project for disabled children in South-East Asia and Dr. Kobayashi reported on the Muslim Education project in Niger and his research on Disaster countermeasure in the Philippines. It was great opportunity for us all not only to share the progress and also to understand each work well.

 Secondary, future plans for Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health Conference and the 6th Asia SHN Training Course were also discussed and their contents were decided. In addition, the detailed working plan for collaborative projects with Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, was considered. 

 Finally, Dr. Tomokawa reported on the WHO School Health Technical Meeting (please refer to a previous report for more information: ‘Activity Report: WHO School Health Technical Meeting “Global Health Initiatives: Achieving Health and Education Outcomes”’) since she has finished working as an adviser at WHO. Through her presentation, the latest information on school health was shared among members.
 Here is the URL of our Facebook page.
 If you are interested, please contact us freely. We hope you will enjoy our various activities. 
 Thank you for your attention and we are looking forward to seeing you again. 

                                               Dr. Mizoue (right)                                                                               Listening to Mizoue team progress

                                       Teaching materials (Asakura team)                                                              Listening to Jimba team progress

                                            Discussion on APACPH

Study Meeting: Africa×NCD Systematic Review


Date: June 17th to June 18th, 2016.
Participant: Sachi Tomokawa(Shinsyu University), Akihiro Nishio(Gifu University), Takeshi Akiyama(Nagano College of Nursing), Kimihiro Miyake(Shinsyu University), Chikako Katsuno(University of the Ryukus)

 From 17th June to 18th June, we invited Ms. Kiyomi KIKUCHI as a teacher and hold the study meeting for Africa×NCD Systematic Review.
 After we learned basic knowledge of systematic review from Ms. Kikuchi, we exercised PICO. And then we started selecting articles actually. Now we have several topics, such as oral health, tobacco and nutrition and we will review for a half year about these topics. This study meeting was good opportunity to learn many things about systematic review.


                                   Ms. Kikuchi gave a lecture                                                                                               PICO exercise


           Thinking about what is Population, Intervention, Comparison and Outcome                                            Making search expression