On 20 January 2020, an opening ceremony to accept neurosurgeon interns from Yangon General Hospital in Myanmar, was held in the OCU building of the Faculty of Medicine.
The three doctors visiting as medical interns were Dr. Myat Thu, Professor of the Department of Neurosurgery, 1st University of Medicine, Yangon, who also serves as the Head of Yangon General Hospital (YGH), Associate Professor Maung Maung Aung and Senior Resident Dr. Hein Htet Zaw. The internship is conducted as part of a project for establishing a center for neurosurgical treatment and human resource development with Myanmar'', a project working off of a subsidy from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and promoted by the general incorporated association Medical Excellence JAPAN (MEJ). Individuals from the OCU Department of Neurosurgery who accepted the internship, representatives of companies and organizations related to the project and students from OCU Graduate School of Medicine gathered in the reception hall on the first floor of the OCU Faculty of Medicine.
In his welcome address, Professor Kenji Ohata of the Department of Neurosurgery/Dean of OCU Graduate School of Medicine who visited YGH last July* on behalf of OCU, introduced the three doctors from Myanmar and wished their time at OCU to be a beneficial one.
The three doctors then introduced themselves, followed by representatives from Itochu Corporation and Emergency Assistance Japan who are in charge of the project with MEJ, giving their greetings and explaining their areas of responsibilities. Lecturer Tsutomu Ichinose who coordinated this internship, then gave an outline of the internship, including the surgical cases to be explored.
After that, the following mini-lectures were conducted based on medical and research case studies at OCU:
"Cervical artificial disc replacement surgery" by Clinical Professor Toshihiro Takami from Department of Neurosurgery, "intractable epilepsy surgery" by Lecturer Takehiro Uda, "Awake brain surgery" by Clinical Lecturer Toshiyuki Kawashima. In addition, Dean Ohata gave an outline of the neurosurgery initiatives at OCU and introduced further activities at the Department of Neurosurgery.
In the end, Professor Myat Thu gave a presentation on the current situation of neurosurgery in Myanmar and the history of its exchanges with Japan. The current number of neurosurgeons in Myanmar are only 23 (while there are more than 8,000 in Japan), thus nurturing medical specialists, improving medical environments and acquiring advanced surgical techniques are urgently in need. A mutual understanding was deepened as disease trends as well as frequently used surgical methods were shared.
At the end of the ceremony the Myanmar doctors received commemorative gifts and had their photos taken with all of the participants.
The three doctors are planning to participate in various medical activities during their week stay here. Future exchanges with Myanmar are expected to increase as a result of this educational exchange.
*Please refer to “Active Exchanges with Myanmar, a Country Drawing Attractive Attention” published on 30 August, 2019.