The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) / Friends of the Global Fund, Japan (FGFJ) emphasizes cooperation within and across regions, reflecting the cross-border nature of communicable diseases. In order to promote better understanding of how Global Fund support reinforces other health-related activities at the community level, the FGFJ and JCIE worked closely with the Global Fund to organize a study trip for several prominent Japanese global health experts and emerging scholars to Ethiopia and Senegal from April 26 to May 4, 2011. The delegation consisted of JCIE/FGFJ Director Tadashi Yamamoto; Keizo Takemi, former senior vice minister for health, labor, and welfare and current JCIE senior fellow; Yukio Takasu, Japan’s ambassador for human security and a special advisor on human security to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; Masamine Jimba, professor and chairman of the University of Tokyo’s Department of Community and Global Health in the Graduate School of Medicine; and Yasushi Katsuma, director of the Waseda University Institute for Global Health.
In Ethiopia, the delegation visited several health centers before traveling to a rural health post to meet with health extension workers who—with support from the Global Fund and UNICEF—visit all of the households in their community to promote healthy lifestyles, screen members of the households for common infections and illnesses, refer people in need of more specialized care to health clinics, provide family planning counseling, and encourage pregnant women to access antenatal care and to deliver their babies in health facilities. The delegation also met with the minister of health, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who at the time was serving as the chair of the Global Fund board, and officials of the African Union. In Senegal, the delegation visited health facilities on the outskirts of the capital, Dakar, and met with members of the Senegalese Country Coordinating Mechanism for Global Fund grants.
While in Senegal, the FGFJ and JCIE organized a seminar on global health and human security, following the third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) Ministerial Follow-Up Meeting. The seminar, which was co-organized with JICA, brought Japanese government officials and public intellectuals together with high-level health officials, academics, and NGO leaders from throughout Africa for a dialogue on how Japan’s foreign policy emphasis on human security can be employed in implementing health-related programs in Africa. Participants in the seminar agreed that interregional discussion of this topic is critical, and plans are currently being made for a follow-up seminar in Latin America in early 2012.
For more information on this event, please visit the FGFJ website.