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Association of Pacific Rim Universities 2014 Workshop: Focusing on Global Health Care and Promoting the Health of Asia-Pacific People

October 9, 2014 MICE No Comments Email Email

The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), founded in 1997, is an association consisting of leading research universities in Pacific Rim countries with the objective to “develop education, research, and innovative cooperation between member universities and to further contribute to the economic and scientific advancement of Pacific Rim regions”.

Member states include 16 economies, with a total of 45 universities. The APRU elects a university member each year to organize the annual workshop. This year the annual workshop was hosted by the National Taiwan University and took place from September 24-26 at NTU’s College of Public Health. 207 participants signed up for the workshop, including scholars from Mainland China, the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, and many other countries. As the only member of the Association from Taiwan, National Taiwan University also invited scholars and students in related fields from the Taipei Medical University, National Yang-Ming University, and Kaohsiung Medical University, to name a few.

NTU’s College of Public Health has dedicated itself to global health issues in recent years, especially in global health education and exchange practices. For example, the prevention of infectious diseases (avian influenza, Ebola virus) has become exceedingly important to the booming Asia-Pacific economy, resulting in frequent regional cooperation. Apart from the rapid spread of infectious diseases, other important global health issues were discussed because of the distinct political and economic development of various countries and cultures in the Asia-Pacific region. For instance, severe air pollution due to fast economic development has exacerbated the prevalence of respiratory diseases in several Asia-Pacific countries. The cost burden of non-infectious chronic diseases on the society should not be underestimated as well. Today, the frequency of economic exchange has increased between borders. The extended health problems to be faced were addressed through the Association of Pacific Rim Universities’ persistent academic exchanges and cooperation, facilitating the development of the health care information system and improving public health in the Asia-Pacific region.

The workshop included discussions on global health education and training, cross-border air pollution management, non-epidemic diseases, health systems, and health care. To expand student participation and continue the legacy of regional research collaboration, the Association arranged for a student research poster competition for the first time ever and instructed the Graduate Students Association to organize a Student Forum. Education is an important mission for the Association, therefore, promoting concern for Asia-Pacific health issues among students is a significant cornerstone for constructing and facilitating Asia-Pacific cooperation in health issues.

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