Activities Overseas

Global Symposium “School Health as we confront COVID-19 in Asia”

Reporting day: 2020/11/20/
Reporter: Rie Ogasawara/Elli Sugita

The Joint Congress on Global Health 2020 (GH2020) was held November 1-3, 2020. This congress was the first in Japan to unite the four different academic societies; 1) Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine, 2) Japan Association for International Health, 3) Japanese Society of Travel and Health, and 4) International Society of Clinical Medicine. 

“Campur”, which means “mixing with each other” in Indonesian, was the motto of this joint Congress with the goal to promote integration and collaboration among disciplines, cultures and people.

Unfortunately, we could not have the onsite conference in Osaka due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and it was shifted to a virtual conference.  

JC-GSHR, in collaboration with Osaka University UNESCO Chair in “Global Health and Education,” organized a global symposium at the GH2020.

The title was….

School Health as we confront COVID-19 in Asia
~What we learned and where do we go from here?~

The symposium focused on school health during the COVID-19 pandemic among seven Asian countries (Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Lao PDR, Nepal and the Philippines). All these seven countries are located in Asia, but the prevalence of COVID-19 in the region varies greatly. School closures followed by school re-openings have occurred in many countries, but “how” and “when” varied greatly as well. The aim of this symposium was to better understand the roles and responsibilities of schools under, with and after COVID-19. Each speaker made excellent presentations outlining the situation in their country, the impact of COVID-19 on schools, and school health.

We were honestly disappointed that we could not meet in person and have lively discussions in Osaka, but we promised to meet with a smile in Osaka in 2021 and closed the symposium successfully.

Sports events in the Japanese school system

Reporting day: 2020/ 11/ 1
Reporter: Takeshi Akiyama (Nagano College of Nursing)

I published a review article “Undokai and sports events in the Japanese school system” in the special issue of Pediatrics International, “School Health Promotion in Japan and its Contribution to Asia and Africa.”
This article covers sports events in Japanese schools, including Undokai. Undokai has a unique style developed during the time of modernization in Japan. The history and role of sports events were described in this article. Furthermore, the importance of sports events was discussed not only in the context of Japan but also worldwide.

These photos are a sports event of in the Philippines. 


Report on school health education activities in the Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur

Reporting day:  2020/10 /12 
Reporter: Mayu Aoyama
My name is Mayu Aoyama. I work in the Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur as a secondary “Yogo Teacher (school nurse)”.
  In Malaysia, the MCO (Movement Control Order) was issued in March 2020 in response  to the coronavirus pandemic. All schools were closed during the MCO. In July, schools reopened strictly adhering to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines.
I would like to report on school health activities during the MCO, and, when the school reopened. 
When the MCO was issued, there were four main initiatives:
(1) Opening of an online counseling room relating to health counseling activities.
(2) Health observation by Google Form.
(3) School morning assembly on YouTube, and health and physical education classes on ZOOM.
(4) Preparation of a new coronavirus infection control manual for the Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur. This is based on the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) that the school is enforcing  following the Ministry of Education of Malaysia’s guidelines.
When school resumed, we continued to try to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the following ways:
- Checking of body temperature of everyone who enters the school.
- Compulsory use of hand sanitizer when entering the school. Sanitizers are also provided in all classrooms and strategic locations for use.
- Zoning of the school nurses’ office
- Creating informative videos.
In the future, I would like to continue to collaborate with faculty members and parents, 
to devise effective methods for preventing the spread of infectious diseases. This would be through collaboration with the expertise of school nurses.

health education using ZOOM

Even field trip and health checkup, we are conscious of preventing infectious diseases.

Even field trip and health checkup, we are conscious of preventing infectious diseases.


Publication of Ecohealth education in Lao PDR

Reporting day:  2020/ 10 / 01/    (Year)(Month)(Day)
Reporter: Sachi Tomokawa
A study on” Introducing Ecohealth education in a Teacher Training Institute in Lao PDR: a case study" was accepted.
This paper argues the effectiveness of Ecohealth education for improving the quality of health and environmental education and for achieving sustainable development in developing countries.

To illustrate the need for Ecohealth education, we review the transitions in health education, environmental education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in various developing countries.
Moreover, we discuss issues relating to these disciplines and consider the possible roles that Ecohealth education can play.
Then, drawing on a case study conducted in Lao PDR, we propose a concrete example of the teaching content of Ecohealth education.

We conclude that Ecohealth education can embody the concepts of ESD with respect to health and environmental issues, and thus can contribute to improvements in the quality of health and environmental education, and of ESD. In addition, we propose the following five actions for implementing Ecohealth education in developing countries:
(i) promote research based on the approaches of public health and anthropology, and develop teaching materials that use the research results,
(ii) empower school-aged children,
(iii) encourage the active involvement and sharing of problems among communities,
(iv) strengthen participatory teaching and learning methodology and
(v) build a training system and train relevant teachers.

Introducing Ecohealth education in a Teacher Training Institute in Lao PDR: a case study

Report on School Health Education Program(SHEP) activities in Ghana 

Reporting day:  2020/ 09 / 10/    (Year)(Month)(Day)
Reporter: Marie Ueno

My name is Marie Ueno. I am a member of the JC-GSHR office. I have lived in Ghana from 2017 to 2019 as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer. I was dispatched as a school health volunteer to Ada East district Education Office in Greater Accra region, Ghana.
I cooperated with the School Health Education Program(SHEP) coordinator to promote school health activities at schools in the district. One of the activities I focused on was making a “health song” in their local language. While I went around schools, I felt that they struggled with the lack of health education among children, teachers, and parents. My co-worker and I decided to create health songs related to the local’s daily life that provide them with knowledge and technical skills.
We wrote 8 songs that highlight important health topics, including personal hygiene, hand washing, clean environment, water sanitation, prevention of Malaria, nutrition, dental health, first aid and so on. After composing the songs, we made them into books and distributed them to every school in the district. 
After the distribution, many teachers used the book as teaching material to teach children about each health during the morning assembly. In addition to this, I found that one of the teachers made good use of the health songs book. She used the book as teaching material in the local language class. Thus, I realized that even if there is not enough time to introduce health education in the curium, we can create more opportunities for children to learn about health and hygiene.

Health Songs book                                        Hand washing / Food Handling song

Health education in elementary school                               Health talk at local radio station

Health sons book used as a teaching material in local language class


Why are there so few bullies in Indonesia?

Reporting day: 2020/08/13/  
Reporter: Jun Kobayashi

At present, the increasing the number of suicides in adolescents is a global public health issue. The number of suicides in adults has been decreasing in Japan, while it is increasing in adolescence. As one of the reasons behind this, the problem of bullying cannot be ignored. Furthermore, it can be said that the problem of “Cyber bullying” is becoming more serious problem together qualitatively quantitatively.

On the other hand, the lower suicide rates is shown in Indonesia. Moreover, bulling case was the lower number among Southeast Asian countries according to the Global School-Based Survey. A team of Department of Global Health, University of the Ryukyus, Japan and School of Medicine, Mataram University in Lombok, Indonesia, started a study to clarify the question; "Why does Indonesian have so much bullying?",

As a result of this study, it was found that the curriculum includes religious education and moral education that respects multi-ethnic and other religions, which effectively prevents bullying. Furthermore, it was suggested that cultural event in school as extracurricular activities also had an effect as extracurricular activities.

We believe that these results will be useful for formulating the strategy to prevent bulling among countries such as Japan, where bullying is becoming more serious.
 This manuscript is in review process in “Special Issue in Pediatrics International; School Health Promotion in Japan and Its Contribution to Asia and Africa”



Presented at International Conference NUTRITION 2020

Reporting day: 2020/07/01/  
Reporter: Yuko Teshima

My name is Yuko Teshima. I am a member of JC-GSHR office.
The other day, I presented my master's research at NUTRITION 2020, an international conference sponsored by the American Society for Nutrition. This conference was scheduled to be held in Seattle, the USA in June of this year, but due to the influence of Covid-19, it was suddenly held online.
Secondary data analysis was conducted in 58 low- and middle-income countries between 2006 and 2018, comprising 692,704 children under five years old by using the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). I estimated the changes in the dual burden of malnutrition at the individual level and its socioeconomic inequality index.
The double burden of malnutrition (DBM) is a major public health problem in the world. DBM refers to the situation where undernutrition and overnutrition are present in the same place. After "Nutrition Transition" was first proposed in 1993, the global nutrition situation has been problematic and many low- and middle-income countries focused on overnutrition and undernutrition.
According to a policy brief of the World Health Organization (WHO), DBM can manifest at three levels. The first level is the population level. The second one is the household level. And the last one is the individual level, which is my research target population.
I am currently working hard to submit this paper.
You can see the abstract here.

The activity report related to children with intellectual disability in Thailand

Reporting day: 2020/06/23
Reporter: Yuko Noguchi

My name is Yuko Noguchi. I am a member of JC-GSHR office.
I took part in internship program in Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Thailand Office in February 2020. In Thailand, there are three institutions under the Department of Empowerment of Person with Disabilities that accept children aged 7 to 18 with intellectual disabilities. Taking this opportunity, I visited two out of these three institutions, a self-help group, Asia Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) and Rajanukul Institute to learn about the state of people with intellectual disabilities including children with intellectual disabilities living in institutions in Thailand.

Through interviews to staffs working in institutions, I found that about half of residents were aged over 18 years due to no place to go to although nearly 40% of them had capability of doing daily living activity themselves. The Thai government enact laws to requires private company and public organization to hire one person with disability in every 100 employees. However, few chances of getting job to residents in institution for intellectual disability. The difficulty of receiving social support and getting hired in a company may prevent them from leaving the institution and living in the society.


The School health activities in Burkina Faso

Reporting day: 2020 / 05 / 24 / 
Reporter: Fumiko Shibuya

I am Fumiko Shibuya, a master's degree student from The University of Ryukyu and a member of JC-GSHR.
I worked at a Catholic girls’ school in Burkina Faso as a JICA volunteer. I taught sexuality education (menstruation, sex infection etc.) and malaria prevention to the students with my counterpart teacher. Also, I taught nutrition to keep weight and washing hands to prevent infections. I made health materials for health lecture with my counterpart to teach by his self and did hand health room manage over to headteacher.
I think that It was difficult to teach sexuality education in developing countries because of the strong background culture, society, and religion. There were young pregnancy and sex infections. However, I couldn’t teach enough to prevent these accompanied by these backgrounds. In such cases, I think it is essential to teach preventive education to students and improve the school health system.
I am going to research sexuality education in developing countries at The University of Ryukyu. Through my research, I would like to improve the school health system by making some issues and my questions clear.



Publicatoin: TB education in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal

Reporting day:2020/4/28/
Reporter:Kigawa, M.

The research conducted in 2019 was published as a paper.
Gopali, RS., Maharjan, B., Kigawa, M.. (2020). Expert Consensus on the Essential Preventive Knowledge of Tuberculosis for High School Students, Kathmandu, Nepal. Biomed J Sci & Tech Res 26(2), 19849-19857. BJSTR. MS.ID.004332. DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2020.26.004332

Nepal is one of the high TB prevalent countries in the world. It has various problem about TB control such as preventive education, medical examination, treatment and their maintenance of motivation. On the other hand, it is known that students can play a major role in promoting health education in the community. Therefore, I thought that high school students could play a similar role in TB control. However, the priority of education items for TB control varies depending on the specialized area of the experts involved. In addition, high school students need to acquire various knowledge, and knowledge of tuberculosis, which is only one item of health education that is not directly related to grades, may be a low priority for them. Therefore, this study was conducted to collect opinions on priorities of experts in various fields.
In the future, based on the knowledge obtained here, we would like to study teaching materials and measures for disseminating knowledge.