Wayo Exchange in Japan (Week 2): Thursday

This morning we attended the science of health lecture given by Professor Namba. He talked about the strong linkage between physical activity and human health. He illustrated how sedentary lifestyle results in the chronic diseases after middle age. He also compared the physical activities of people in different countries and different sized cities. We learned from this class that physical activity can effectively prevent life-style related diseases, reduce pressure, and improve the quality of life.

We also attended the clinical nutrition lecture given by Dr. Yoichi Sakurai. He talked about how malnutrition affected the rehabilitation of patients post-operation. For example, it was reported that if preoperative loss was less than 20%, the postoperative mortality is only 3.5%, but if the preoperative loss more than 20%, then the postoperative mortality increased to a high 33%. It is critical for dietitians and other medical team workers to try to maintain the patients in good nutritional status before and after operation. During patients’ hospitalization, the dietitian needs to take nutritional screening, nutritional assessment, making plans for nutritional management, carrying out the nutritional plan, monitoring and evaluation. We realized the importance of nutritional status on treatment of illness from this class. It was so interesting and informative!

After lunch, we went to the National Center for Global Health and Medicine. We were so impressed by the tidy and organized environment in that hospital. We were treated with a very special ice cream there! Not like conventional ice cream, which melts before it reaches the patients’ room, this new innovative ice cream does not melt in about 30 minutes. At the same time, the flavor and delicious taste are preserved. It was awesome!

We learned from the introduction that the center can provide 300 meals or more at one time or 750 meals or more per day. The center uses the nutritional component management system for its nutritional standards. This system can provide most suitable nutrition standards selected according to individual patient’s conditions and requirements.

Then we toured the workplace where they use the concept of HACCP to carry out hygiene management. The workplace is divided into food preparation section, cooking section and serving section. The food preparation section is designated as an “hygienic area”, distinguished by a different floor color. There is also a specific room for final food check. Before each meal, the dietitian needs to check the contents of the dish in that room to avoid any serving mistakes. We learned the main duty of a dietitian in the hospital is to provide appropriate and best service to patients.