The Federated States of Micronesia is an island nation comprised of over 600 separate islands, 65 of which are inhabited by a total population of 12,000 people. The nation has a chronic shortage of doctors, nurses, medical technicians, health assistants (HA) and other health professionals across the board, and provision of medical services to the general public has become a major issue. In the comprehensive investigation of the existing support frameworks carried out by the Fund prior to the implementation of the program, it became clear that health assistants, despite their importance, have few opportunities to develop their skills and thus boost their motivation as the providers of primary healthcare to the island community. In this project, the following support will be provided based on the findings of the survey.
Firstly, health assistants will be invited to Japanese medical institutions experienced in regional healthcare provision. At the same time, medical personnel will be dispatched from Japan to the Micronesian region, where, through field activities, they will attempt to raise the level of medical knowledge in local communities and develop ideal models for healthcare in the region. This project will be implemented with a state maritime fund.
In this one-year project, the following activities will be carried out.
Dispatch of medical personnel from Japan (1 week, August 2010, Pohnpei Island)
A ten-member group comprised of regional healthcare researchers from domestic medical institutions will be dispatched for a period of one week to clinics in the Federated States of Micronesia to carry out fieldwork including educational activities at the community level.
Invitation of the Micronesia Minister of Health (10 days, July 2010, Kyoto, Kyoto)
The Federated States of Micronesia Health Minister Dr. Skilling will be invited to Japan. During the visit, SPF will co-host a symposium with the Association for Medical Education in the Western Pacific Region (AMEWPR)
. Also planned is a visit to the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs, medical institutions including Tokyo Women's Medical University, as well as companies such as Shimadzu Corporation. A portion of the work involved in hosting the symposium will be outsourced to a professional medical institution.
Invitation of Health Assistants from the Federated States of Micronesia (7 days, February 2011, Okinawa)
Ten students from the health assistant course at the College of Micronesia will be invited to Japan. During their time in the country, the students will take part in joint training with university staff, exchange opinions with medical personnel, and interact with university students
This project, which included three programs, was designed to enhance medical knowledge in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) by dispatching healthcare personnel from Japan, and to encourage greater mutual understanding between the two countries by inviting healthcare personnel from FSM to Japan.
In July 2010, the Secretary of the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs, H.E. Dr. Vita Skilling, was invited to Japan. In December 2010, eight students from the College of Micronesia were invited to Okinawa to participate in a joint workshop held with students from the School of Health Sciences at the University of the Ryukyus. In March 2011, 12 students were dispatched from Tokyo Women's Medical University and from the Mie University School of Medicine, to conduct a joint community needs assessment with students from the College of Micronesia.