WKC Forum – “Think about Health For All with the WHO Kobe Centre”
In commemoration of the establishment of “Health Innovation City Kobe,” on September 23, WHO Kobe Centre held a joint WKC Forum with Kobe City entitled, “Think about Health For All with the WHO Kobe Center.” This forum was held in the Kobe Port Pia Hotel, and drew the attendance of approximately 150 members of the general public.
The forum’s first session began with an address from Mr Kizo Hisamoto, Mayor of Kobe City. Following that, Dr Sarah Louise Barber, Director of WHO Kobe Centre gave a presentation entitled, “WKC’s New Research – UHC, Innovations, and Aging.” During her presentation, Dr Barber said, “A key message from Japan is about early intervention and health promotion. In 1950, the average age in Japan was just 58. Around that time, Japan’s approach was to a combination of public health policies and personal care treatment to promote stroke prevention measures. As a result of all of that, Japan now has the highest average lifespan of any country in the world. It is important that there be a good combination of leadership from the government that enables action by the people. The world is watching to see how Japan will act, since it is farther along on its shift toward an older population compared to other countries. WHO Kobe Centre will continue to communicate to the world about this issue through our research.”
After Dr Barber’s presentation, Dr Ryoma Kayano, Technical Officer at WHO Kobe Centre, gave a presentation on the topic of the “Kobe Dementia Study.” Dr Kayano noted that alongside the aging of the global population, it is now expected that 130 million people will be living with dementia by 2050. He pointed out that “since there is not yet a cure for dementia, figuring out how to respond to the increasing medical and nursing care burdens that dementia places on society is a global issue.” He expressed his hopes for the Kobe Dementia Study , stating, “Through our joint research with Kobe University based on our collaboration with Kobe City, I want to propose a community-based model for the early detection and management of dementia.”
Next, Prof Kiyoshi Maeda, Director of Kobe City Dementia Countermeasures (and Professor at Kobe Gakuin University), gave a presentation on “Kobe City’s Approach on Dementia.” Prof Maeda introduced the initiatives of Kobe City for focused support during the early stages of dementia, as well as the measures that Kobe City is promoting to create dementia-friendly communities .
During the second session, Prof. Haruhiko Kikuchi, Chair of the Council for Health Innovation City Kobe (and Professor Emeritus at Kobe University), gave a presentation on “Health Innovation City Kobe.”
Lastly, Prof Koji Kawakami of Kyoto University gave a presentation entitled, “Life-long and Health Promotion.” During his presentation, he introduced his research using national municipal-level data from across Japan, explaining, “If we can organize health data from an early stage of each person’s life into ‘life-course’ level big data, it will be possible for each municipality to gain a clear understanding of the health issues their communities face, and make it possible to develop effective health policies.”