The International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation

Program: Five Year Follow Up of the Kobe Earthquake: from Disaster Management to Averting  Chronicity


Naotaka Shinfuku, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and International Health,
Kobe University Medical School, past Mental Health Advisor, Western Pacific
Region, World Health Organization, Vice President for Western Pacific
Region, WAPR

A Correspondence to WAPR - USA


Greeting from Kobe Japan.
Thank you for your kind invitation to the AAPR Meeing on the 10 th January 2000. I am honoured to accept your kindness and look forwards seeing you in New York soon. I am taking this opportunity to send my greeting of the New Year 2000 for Board Members of WAPR.

Dear Colleagues Boards Members of WAPR.

Happy New Year and Happy New Millenium.

Five years have passed since I came back to Kobe Japan from my worsk as WHO Regional Adviser in Mental health for the Western Pacific Region, Manila the Philippines in 1994.  In January 1995, I experienced the tragic Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake as victim and survivor. That experience is adding my workloads.  Our Center ( International Center for Medical Research of Kobe University School of Medicine) has participated in several activities  last year and
these will continue for coming years as well.

-to improve mental health services in Asian countries.
-to promote public health oriented mental health services in Japan.
-to introduce  bio-psycho-social model in disaster mental health.
-to provide international health perspectives to medical students .

We have received the financial supports from Monbusyo,  JSPS (Japan Society of Science Promotion), JICA ( Japan International Cooperation Agency) and WHO ( World health Organization).

Our major problem is the shortage of manpower ( and women power).  We will welcome more doctors and scientists who have the same interests to join and work with us. I hope all the best wishes for you and look forwards for the opportunity to work with you in coming years .

At the end of 1999 and looking forwards the year 2000.
Activities which might have enabled me to meet  you in 1999.

(1) Activities related to disaster medicine and disaster mental health.

-Organization and coordination of the Training course on comprehensive medical and health care for the victims of the disaster( October-November 1999)  supported by JICA ( Japan International Cooperation Agency). We had participants from Peru, China, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey and Egypt.  We had very positive evaluation from the participants.

-Visit to Peru and Mexico as Team leader of JICA mission for needs assessment on disaster medicine ( June-July 1999).

-Also, we had visitors ( Dean and other Professors)  from Taiwan National University School of Medicine to develop collaboration on disaster reconstruction.( December 1999).

-Visit to WHO Geneve as WHO Temporary adviser  to develop manuals for disaster mental health ( one week in August 1999).

-Involved in research for the PTSD of victims of nuclear radiation disaster at Tokai Village , North of Tokyo ( November/December 1999)

(2) Activities related to the promotion of research and training in mental health in Asia.
ICMR Kobe  has been designated by Japan Society for Science Promotion (JSPS) to promote research and training in medical fields between medical institutions in Japan and those in South east Asian countries.

-Organization of International Symposium on New Advances on Neuro-psychopharmacology jointly supported by JSPS and National Singapore University ( December 1999). About 70 participants from Singapore, 4 from Japan , 2 from Thailand, one each from the Philippines and Malaysia.

-Organization of JSPS workshops on neuro-psychiatry in Indonesia with focus on collaborative research on post-natal depression and pathway of mental patients.( March in Jakarta /Bali and November in YokJakarta).

-I have visited China as WHO Consultant for the preparation of Mental health Law in China ( Three weeks in September to Beijing and Chengdu). Prof Martin Gittelman also participated.

(3) Academic activities
-IPG ( International Psychogeriatric Congress) in Beijing in April 1999

-APA at Washington D.C. and lectures at NYMC and SUNY in May 1999.

-9 th Meeting of PRCP ( Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists) in Seoul in October.

(4) Teachings of International Health to Medical students at Kobe University School of Medicine.-First systematic teaching of International health at Medical Schools in Japan.

Dr .N. Shinfuku.
Professor
International Health and Epidemiology.
Kobe University School of Medicine.




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