Message from the Chairperson
Myo Khin, Chairperson, Okayama University International Alumni Association
The current outbreak of the SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) has caused global crisis including both human fatalities and economic downturn. The COVID-19 virus infection has now spread to 122 countries and has challenged the global health system exposing the unpreparedness of many countries across the globe. Developed countries of no exception and suffered no less than lower-and-mid income countries in Asia and Africa in terms of morbidity and mortality. In spite of the COVID pandemic situation, Japan with great resilient had successfully staged the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in August this year after one year postponement. Likewise, the 10th General Meeting of the Okayama University International Alumni Association (OUIAA) had to be postponed to January 2021. In the 10th General Meetings, we had to conduct it virtually using video-conferencing technology. To my dismay, I had to admit that it failed to attract the attention of the alumni members worldwide. However, as the problem of the COVID-19 pandemic is still lingering on in the whole world, we may also have to use the video-conferencing technology again at the 11th General Meeting of OUIAA. WE may all have to accept that until the COVID-19 situation is over, we will have to adapt ourselves to the videoconferencing methods and the virtual conferences.
While we all fervently hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will end soon, we all have to remind ourselves that, as this pandemic continues to affect various aspects of our lives, new pattern of lifestyles, new form of cooperation, and work modalities under a new normal will need to be adopted. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many things on health, education, and social life and economy. For me as a medical person, the most important lesson is that the health system of the countries in the world should be more robust and responsive to global crisis. Challenges from the emerging infectious diseases should be seriously considered and the health spending in the future years should be contributed significantly to the public health activities, disease surveillances, research, development of diagnostics and vaccines, and upgrading of hospital facilities to handle serious medical conditions. Among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030, SDG 3: “Good health and Well Being” which focus on health should be well considered seriously.
The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be tackled by a single country. Countries over the world need to work together and to join hands in the fight. Okayama University International Alumni Members, residing and working in different parts of the world could establish a network to form a group of talented and technical persons as we all have been trained and groomed by the Okayama University to become successful citizens in their own countries. The network should be viable, strong and resilient, and should be functioning smoothly so that we all could work together to create a better life in a new normal situation. Alumni Members and Okayama University should be interconnected and work together as partners in the building of a “New Normal Life” in the future years.
I would like to wish all the alumni members, free from illnesses, fear, obstacles and difficulties in the coming days, weeks, months and be filled with profound happiness and remarkable success in good health. Get vaccinated with COVID vaccine and remember the three Cs and D – avoid crowded places, avoid closed settings and avoid confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation and wear a double mask. A strong desire, resilient endeavor, high spirit and moral wisdom are the key factors for success in the challenge to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and building a New Normal Life.
“Let us join hands in the building of a New Normal Life”
Chairperson, Okayama University International Alumni Association Myo Khin