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Primary health care and approaches to education in focus as Japanese delegations visit Mac

Professor Michael Ladouceur delivers a lecture to Niigata delegation

A delegation of faculty and students from Niigata University participate in this year's learning exchange with McMaster as the global health program continues to expand. 

By Ruth Adair, March 28, 2019

With Japan continuing to show leadership in the global health arena, McMaster University’s Global Health Office has been working to strengthen existing relationships and forge new ties with Japanese institutions as the MSc Global Health program expands. The past week's activities have included two delegation visits and a meeting with the Consul-General of Japan in Toronto, Takato Iko.

Andrea Baumann, Associate V-P Global Health and director of the MSc GH program, met with the Consul-General as part of a delegation visit from Japanese health care leaders interested in possible collaboration in the area of primary health care (PHC).

Among the delegates at the meeting was chair of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation (SMHF), Dr. Etsuko Kita, who had been keen to connect with global thought leaders in PHC from McMaster’s PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre, which Baumann leads. The SMHF focuses its efforts in three key areas: Hansen’s disease (also known as leprosy), hospice and palliative care, and public health.

The delegation visit included an exploration of family health centres and targeted primary care initiatives for vulnerable populations.

This week, the Global Health Office also hosted students and faculty from Niigata University for the annual learning and cultural exchange. For the last 11 years, McMaster has welcomed Niigata delegations to campus for a week of programming designed to foster collaboration and spark dialogue about innovative teaching and learning methodologies, health care systems, and approaches to global health issues.

“Niigata University has become increasingly involved in the MSc Global Health program, which now spans five continents and includes seven diverse academic institutions,” said Baumann.

The dynamic learning exchange offers an in-depth look at problem-based learning and a review of the curricula at McMaster and Mohawk College, McMaster’s partner in the annual visit. Each year, the program is tailored to the visitors’ specific interests and research areas. This year’s visit focused on medical laboratory sciences, nursing, and radiological technology.