Department of International Health has started its activities since 2008, following
the internal reform of Institute of Tropical Medicine. Department of International
Health has its basis on Research Center for Tropical Infectious Diseases (RECTID)
of Institute of Tropical Medicine established in 2001, Information and Reference
Center in 1997, and Reference Center in 1994.
It says that RECTID, a precursor of our department, had following three activities; 1)developing the museum of tropical medicine, 2) collecting and disseminating information on tropical infectious diseases and 3) promoting joint research projects and doing epidemiological studies. Out of which, Department of International Health takes over research activities and adds to its mandate an international collaboration as a social responsibility anew.
Thus, Department of International Health, as a newly established department, has two pillars, e.g. research and social responsibility.
Research was composed of three units; 1) research on infectious diseases in ecosystem, 2) research on the environment including climate change and Asian dust related to health, 3) research on biological evolution of microorganisms from the adaptation or fitness view point.The umbrella concept or key word linking above three research units is to reconstruct infectious diseases “temporally” and “spatially” alike. Infection is the biological interaction between hosts and microorganisms. In other words, host behavior, social structure as well as culture per se affect microorganisms in fitness and adaptation whereas microorganism has impact on its hosts. Based on that perception, our department aims to get more detailed understanding and insight on infectious diseases.
Another pillar is a social responsibility. Now that even profit oriented organizations are required to have its corporate social responsibility, no need to say for academia or university. Out of the name of our department, it must be nothing but contribution to international health or people’s health in resource limited settings.
Our department raises following three activities as international contribution; advocacy on international health at national and international level, health promotion activities and empowerment at the community/grassroots’ level and emergency relief.
What our department thinks of important in those activities is to make solidarity in order to improve people’s health and contribute to people’s sustainable development. It is our department’s goal.