The JICA Training Course, Community-based Cancer Prevention (Epidemiological Approach)


The present training course was programmed by the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, Aichi Cancer CenterResearch Institute, Japan, and has been annually conducted since 1999, supported by the Japan International CooperationAgency (JICA). The course targets doctors and public health workers who are responsible for community-based cancerprevention in developing countries to promote comprehensive measures, focusing on both primary and secondary preventionagainst cancer.Neoplasia is the leading cause of deaths in developed countries, while communicable diseases continue to contributeas major causes of deaths in developing countries (WHO, 2000). However, the relative importance of cancer deaths isincreasing in the latter, with economic development and a longer life span (Walgate, 1984; Chackiel, 1999). Boffetta andParkin (1994) have estimated cancer to account for 13 percent of the annual deaths in adults of developing countries.Limitations of medical facilities and equipment in developing countries means that an emphasis on prevention is indispensablefor cancer control (Mikheev et al. 1994). However, the necessary human resources remain limited, and encouragement oftheir development should be given the first priority for effective cancer prevention.The Japanese Government extends official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries to support self-helpefforts that will lead to economic progress and a better life for the citizens of those countries. Since its foundation in 1974,JICA has implemented Japan’s technical cooperation under the ODA programme. Currently, JICA conducts such activitiesas training, dispatch of experts, provision of equipment, project-type technical cooperation, development studies, dispatchof cooperation volunteers (JOCV), survey and administration of capital grant aid programs. The present training programfor doctors and public health workers from overseas is one of JICA’s fundamental technical cooperation activities fordeveloping countries. Participants are invited to attend for two months in order to obtain knowledge and technologicalexpertise in a wide variety of fields. The objectives of the JICA training program are: 1) to contribute to the development ofhuman resources and thereby promote the advancement of developing countries; and 2) to enhance mutual understandingand friendship. The present report details the contents of this course with commentaries on perceived advantages anddisadvantages after three years experience.