Activities Overseas

Development of school mental health program with SEAMEO

Reporting day: 2020/01/31
Reporter: Akihiro Nishio (Health Administration Center, Gifu University)

In collaboration with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization SEAMEO), we have developed a basic program of school mental health that can be used in ASEAN countries. As a preliminary action, in March 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, school mental health officials from nine ASEAN countries gathered to hold a workshop on school mental health. The results were summarized by the four point of views;  (1) legal system, (2) school service system, (3) training system for teachers (4) education for students, on the mental health and published as current situation and comparison of school mental health in ASEAN countries. In the workshops, as a minimum standard for school mental health, the following topics were needed; (1) mental health education for students (also serving as teacher training), (2) establishment of coordination system between community mental health resources and schools, and (3) simple tool for evaluation of children's mental health. Therefore, in order to realize (1), we created modules for mental health education for elementary school students, junior high school students, and high school students, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of the Philippines. From September 2019, in Pampanga Province in the Philippines,   local teachers used it. A feedback session was held on December 3 and 4, receiving comments from teachers, and the teaching modules were revised to make them easier to use. The revised modules were provided to the Philippine Ministry of Education. It will be published as official modules of the Philippines in the summer of 2021, after being approved by the Philippine government. 



​Ecohealth education textbook and developing a teacher’s guidebook in Laos

A conference was held for revising an Ecohealth education textbook and developing a teacher’s guidebook at the Faculty of Education of the National University of Laos (NUOL) in Vientiane Capital for six days from December 23 to 28, 2019. Ecohealth education is a health concept that aims to achieve both socio-economic development and health of the ecosystem and people. Actually, a project has been implemented to introduce and disseminate Ecohealth education in Teacher Training Institutions (TTIs) in Laos with the support of the Ministry of education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Members of JC-GSHR, namely, Prof. Asakura (Tokyo Gakugei University), Prof. Kokudo (Kobe University) and Asso. Prof. Sachi (Shinshu University), are involved in the project.At the end of 2019, Ecohealth education was already introduced in TTIs as a part of the formal curriculum. Meanwhile, the first edition of the Ecohealth education textbook was published in September 2018, and then, a series of meetings have been held since June 2019 to improve the quality of the textbook and develop a teacher’s guidebook in response to the needs of TTI teachers. Teachers of NUOL and TTCs have participated in the meetings as well as Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers who are working with the teachers in Laos. They have conducted discussions based on the practice in each TTI to develop educational content appropriate to the context in Laos. (Reported by Shiho SANO working in Savannakhet Teacher Training College)



TB education in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal


We are working about TB education for high school students in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal with local TB NGO. In 2019, a consensus survey was conducted by school health teachers, community TB volunteers, the staff of DOTs clinic, and district TB officers on “knowledge that high school students should know to prevent tuberculosis in the community “. Now, we are proceeding with the publication of the results.
                         (By Kigawa, Mika)

The 66th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of School Health

 My name is Yuko Noguchi. I am a member of JC-GSHR office. We attended The 66th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of School Health on November 29 th to December 1st in 2019 at National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo. On December 1st in this meeting, JC-GSHR held a session which was titled "Global school health in the era of SDGs - the complexity and diversity".
  Firstly, Dr. Sachi Tomokawa (Shinshu University) explained purpose of the session. Next, it had presentations by 4 presentor, "Children who have roots in foreign country and school lunch" by Dr. Mika Kigawa (Kanagawa Unicersity of Human Services), "Mental health of children in Southeast Asia" by Dr. Akihiro Nishio (Gifu University), "The role of religious and moral education to promote school health" by Dr. Jun Kobayashi (Ryukyu University) and "The sex education and gender education in foreign country" by Dr.Yamamoto Beverley Anne (Osaka University). Lastly, Dr. Eri Sugita (Osaka University) provided information about activity of UNESCO Chair which sponsored by Osaka University.
  In discussion time, it was hold exchange oppinion from audience actively. We would like to pass the information and connect with many people through such a conference.



Annual meeting of Japan Consortium for Global School Health Research


On December 2nd (Monday), the International School Health Consortium Annual Meeting was held at the Institute of National Center for Global Health and Medicine (the day after the 66th Academic Conference of the Japan School Health Association).
In the morning, the progress of each group was announced, and in the afternoon, there was a regular meeting.
There were many research reports, but only representative ones will be reported in this activity diary.
Team Mizoue:
A school health project is being implemented in Sri Lanka. However, in Sri Lanka, there has been a series of bomb attacks the other day, and it is currently difficult to conduct research, so they are re-creating a research plan by changing the approach method.
Team Kobayashi:
In Indonesia, which is an Islamic area, a qualitative survey is conducted on how religious education affects mental health.
Dr. Kobayashi recently posted a systematic review of the impact of religious education on mental health. (Please refer to the previous article for details)
Team Asakuara:
They are conducting research on school health that promotes social health in Laos. So far, various interventions (such as elucidation of competencies required for eco-health education) have been carried out and are now being published as papers.
Team Jimba:
Nepalese children have poor nutrition and eat less food diversity. To solve this problem, a school and home garden program in Nepal is being implemented (Cluster RCT).
The activities of the International School Health Consortium are now in their ninth year.
From the representative director, Mr. Kobayashi mentioned,
“Finding challenges while assuming what will happen to our children.
This consortium may have to do future-oriented activities. "
We usually hold a secretariat meeting online every month, but I thought it was a good time to discuss face to face like this.
The International School Health Consortium is recruiting new members.
Please contact us if you are interested. We'll be expecting you!
Reporter: Yuko Teshima

Research on the influence of religious education on mental health

We are conducting the research on the impact of religious education on mental health in cooperation with the College of Public Health, University of the Philippines School of Public Health and Faculty of Medicine, University of Mataram, Indonesia. We discussed according to the review of more than 70 papers, and concluded as follows; “It is important to reflect on the crucial role of religious education on adolescent mental health. School-based mental health education and promotion strategies can maximize the benefits of religious education by putting emphasis on effective implementation of religious education to positively influence adolescent mental health.”
Religious education can contribute to adolescent mental health in school settings
Crystal Amiel M. Estrada, Marian Fe Theresa C. Lomboy, Ernesto R. Gregorio Jr., Emmy Amalia, Cynthia R. Leynes, Romeo R. Quizon & Jun Kobayashi
International Journal of Mental Health Systems 13: 28 (2019)
                         (By Jun Kobayashi)

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