The Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network (http://apstsn.org) convened in Singapore 15-17 July 2013. Three scholars from Fukushima Medical University joined it and made presentations.
Since November 2012, several expert meetings have been conducted at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria that involve Japanese and international physicians and Science and Technology Studies (STS) experts, including various social scientists from the fields of sociology, history, anthropology, and psychology. These expert meetings are components of two projects that are initiated and coordinated by Dr Rethy Chhem and Dr Gregory Clancey.
In these two projects, the IAEA, in collaboration with FMU, Hiroshima University and Nagasaki University, aims to enhance radiation medicine education and to strengthen research cooperation in radiation disaster medicine related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Several outcomes of the projects are enhancements of education programmes in radiation disaster management with the incorporation of STS for health professionals and emphasis on communication in an atmosphere of uncertainty and mistrust. A further outcome includes the contribution to the APSTSN special panel on Monday 15 July on “Medical and Academic Responses to the Fukushima Nuclear Accident” with plenary speakers from Hiroshima University (Kenji Kamiya, Mariko Komatsu) and Fukushima Medical University (Arifumi Hasegawa, Atsushi Kumagai, Kenneth Nollet).
The IAEA has funded several staff members from FMU to participate in this plenary session, Dr. Arifumi Hasegawa, Dr. Atsushi Kumagai and Dr. Kenneth Nollet.
This plenary session at the conference stressed the importance of a multidisciplinary approach that is STS in helping to overcome the numerous difficulties in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. While STS may not provide ready-made answers to the various health challenges following a nuclear disaster, it does help us to understand them more clearly, and also provides a useful conceptual framework in which practical solutions may be developed and successfully applied in the future.
1.Radiating Truth from Fukushima
Kenneth E. NOLLET, MD, PhD
2. Engaging Medical Students in Radiation Emergency Medicine
Arifumi HASEGAWA, MD, PhD
22 May 2013 International Rotary Club donated 2 buses equipped with thyroid screening machine and one thyroid screening machine to FMU
5 of International Rotary clubs donated 2 buses equipped with thyroid screening machine and one thyroid screening machine to FMU. The ceremony was held on May 22 2013. A governor from Thailand was invited to FMU to attend the ceremony. In the ceremony, Governor Ito from Fukushima district Rotary gave a greeting and asked FMU to utilize them to monitor the health of the children in Fukushima for a long time.
The donated buses have isolated power units, so thyroid screening can be done without electric power supply.
These new bases will be used for the Thyroid Ultrasound Examination.
Fukushima prefectural government has been conducting WBC monitoring of the Fukushima residents since June 2011. New results of WBC monitoring conducted on 4,120 residents in March were released on April 26. Altogether, 123,050 individuals have been monitored at present and the results suggest that the committed effective doses of more than 99.9 % of examinees are less than 1mSv. Based on these data, the prefecture said that internal exposure doses are less than the level to affect health of the examinees. Current WBC monitoring prioritizes the examination of children and pregnant women.
In addition to the prefectural government, some of the municipal governments have also implemented the WBC monitoring which are as follows.
Iwaki city government monitored 46,557 residents and all their committed effective doses were 1mSv or below.
Fukushima city government monitored 45,802 residents and all their committed effective doses were below 1mSv.
Date city government monitored 43,261 residents and all their committed effective doses were below 1mSv.
Koriyama city government monitored 25,009 residents and all the committed effective doses were below 1mSv.
Motomiya city government monitored 13,256 residents and all the committed effective doses were 1mSv or below.
∗ Committed effective dose represents the accumulative dose of internal radiation exposure for the dose of 50 years for adults, for the dose until 70 years old for children.
8-10 Apr 2013 World Health Summit Regional Meeting Asia convened in Singapore with FMU participation
The M8 Alliance World Health Summit Regional Meeting Asia (http://www.worldhealthsummit.org/whsrma2013/) convened in Singapore 8-10 April 2013. A symposium entitled “The Role of Medical Academia in Prevention and Preparedness for the Health Effects of Major Disasters” was chaired by FMU Vice President Shunichi FUKUHARA. Dr. Kenneth E. NOLLET presented “Japanese Disaster, World Experience: Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine in Extreme Conditions” to an international audience. Vice President FUKUHARA is concurrently Deputy Dean of Kyoto University’s School of Public Health.
Japanese Disaster, World Experience ∼Blood Banking & Transfusion Medicine in Extreme Conditions∼
Kenneth E. NOLLET, MD, PhD
27 Feb 2013 Meeting with Dr. Ted Lazo, OECD/NEA’s Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) was held at FMU
Dr. Ted Lazo, a representative of OECD/NEA’s Committee on Radiation Protection and Public Health (CRPPH), attended FMU’s three-day conference and had a subsequent discussion with FMU faculty members, Vice President/Prof. Yamashita, Prof. Niwa, Prof. Yasumura, Prof. Ohtsuru, Prof. Yabe, and Prof. Nollet. The meeting was held at the Department of International Cooperation on 27 Feb, and joined by Dr. Vladimir Saenko of Nagasaki University.
Dr. Lazo showed great interest in the Fukushima Health Management Survey, and proposed to provide his Japanese counterparts with necessary information that would assist with their efforts. Both sides agreed to continue exchange meetings on development and implementation of effective basic survey, sharing experience and approaches to academically solid and sustainable studies, and communicating closely study objectives, progress and results within the public and political spheres.
After the meeting, Dr. Lazo and Dr. Saenko proceeded with Prof. Yasumura and Prof. Nollet to tour the Health Management Survey facilities in FMU Sakaemachi Office, and then to the Survey offices in FMU Hikarigaoka campus.
On 23 Jan 2013, Letter of Collaboration was signed between Radiation Medical Science Center, Fukushima Medical University and Section of Environmentand Cancer, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The letter endorses the collaboration between the two institutes as well as among the Japanese scientific community in general on radiation cancer epidemiology. For the year 2013 specific plans are stated in the letter including personnel exchange program, joint workshop in Japan in autumn 2013, and interactive information sharing.
Led by the NCKU Chair/Professor Yung-nane Yang and AEC Deputy Director Wen-Fang Chen, the delegation included two officials from the Atomic Energy Council; a doctor and a nurse from the National Cheng Kung University Hospital; a doctor from the National Taiwan University Hospital; and two doctors from the Tri-Service General Hospital.
The NCKU-FMU Bilateral University Conference was held on Day 1 (15 December 2012) of the visit, joined by FMU Vice-President Shunichi Yamashita and the Dean Hitoshi Ohto, as well as 13 FMU faculty members. Participants actively discussed issues related to radiation emergency medicine and management of complex emergencies in Fukushima and Taiwan.
On Day 2 the delegation visited the disaster-affected areas of Minami- soma. Day 3 began with a courtesy call on the FMU President Shinichi Kikuchi, followed by the visit to FMU Department of Radiation Health Management. The delegates also visited Fukushima University and Fukushima’s Nuclear Off-Site Center.