Japanese Hardly Spend Time on Leisure

Japanese Hardly Spend Time on LeisureJapanese Hardly Spend Time on Leisure

There are 20,000 health houses as well as 900 hospitals in Iran, and “more than 96% of our demand for medications is domestically met,” Health Minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, told Yohei Sasakawa, chairman of the Nippon Foundation of Japan, during a meeting last week.

Sasakawa was in Tehran to attend the Iran-Japan seminar on the theme of ‘Women, Peace and Sustainable Development’ at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS).

For every 3,000 people living in rural areas, small towns and city fringes, there is at least one health expert who provides basic health services to the people and conducts screening tests, Hashemi said, IRNA reported.

“In case the Japanese side is interested, Iran would be willing to cooperate with Japan in constructing health centers along its common borders with Afghanistan and Iraq to provide health services to Afghans and Iraqis.”

Equipping and constructing hospitals, initiating postgraduate programs, and boosting pharmaceutical cooperation are some of the most important fields the two countries can focus on, Hashemi added.

Sasakawa said a major weakness of the Japanese people is that they work hard and “don’t spend any time on fun activities.”

Pointing to Japan’s healthcare system, he said while the country has a high percentage of graying population, most of its managers are young, creative and talented individuals.

During the last decades, population aging and significant decrease in fertility rates have been the main health challenges facing Japan, Sasakawa said. “Life expectancy in Japan is 79 and 85 for men and women, respectively.”

The Nippon Foundation is prominent non-profit organization in Japan. Its mission includes assistance for humanitarian work, both at home and abroad. In the humanitarian field, it focuses on such fields as social welfare, public health, and education.

 Goodwill Envoy for Leprosy

Sasakawa, who is also the World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy Elimination, evinced interest in visiting the leprosy center in Tabriz.

Hashemi said that leprosy was eradicated in the country several decades ago and currently, 14 patients who were affected by the disease in the 1950s, all over the age of 60 now, are living in the Bababaghi health center in Tabriz County in East Azarbaijan Province, which is considered to be one of the endemic areas for leprosy in Iran.

Bababaghi center is the only medical center for leprosy patients. Although, the disease is rare in Iran and early registration and compliance with multiple drug therapy has led to its reduction, there are still cases of the disease. A study in June 2011 examined a total of 195 new leprosy cases that were referred to and registered at the center from 1994-2009.

Of the 195 new cases, 131 were male and 64 female and the disease had peaked in the fourth decade of their lives. The most common form of the disease, especially in male patients, was lepromatous leprosy, with skin problems, especially eyebrow hair loss, constituting a common sign of the disease.

“It is important for physicians to be aware of its diagnosis when they see a patient with chronic dermatitis and peripheral nerve involvement,” said the study.

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease (HD), is a long-term infection caused by the bacteria mycobacterium leprae and mycobacterium lepromatosis. Initially, infections are without symptoms and typically remain this way from 5 to as long as 20 years.