Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute organizes a camp for leaders of the liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma problem mitigation project under the Kantarawichai Model

October 7, 2020 at Rachawadee Resort and Hotel, Khon Kaen – Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University organized a workshop and camp of the changing leaders for solving problems in liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma, the Model District: Kantarawichai Model. The objective is to build leaders who will work for the solution of liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma problems in the are of Kantarawichai District, Maha Sarakham in order to reduce the rate of patients infected with liver flukes to less than 1% within 3 years and to encourage the first-stage patients to receive medical treatment. The opening ceremony of the workshop was joined by Assoc. Prof. Narong Khanteekaew, M.D., Director of Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute, who welcomed participants to the workshop, while Dr. Hasacha Nuaythong, Deputy Public Health Officer of Maha Sarakham who conveyed the opening speech and briefed about the strategic decade plans to eradicate liver flukes and cholangiocarcinoma (2016-2025).

Assoc. Prof. Narong Khanteekaew, M.D., Director of Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute explained, “Liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma kill Isan people every year, at about 20,000 people each year. Therefore, the problems are a big obstacle to the national development. They require collaboration from all parts, including the people, the government and the private sector. We all have to campaign for the prevention and solution of the diseases by different methods such as making fish free of worms and making food safe to eat, managing the hygiene system, building awareness among the youths by incorporating the notion in the curricula at schools, screening the risk group and caring the patients. All of these should be integrated and implemented in parallel so that the problems can be solved and the diseases gone from Thailand.”

The workshop activities were cooperated by community leaders, municipality, teachers, hospital staff, VHVs and the community people from 10 subdistricts in Kantarawichai, Maha Sarakham, totaling over 80 people. The activities featured a lecture on “How liver fluke infection leads to cholangiocarcinoma?” by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Watcharin Loilom, a committee member and secretary of the institute; group activities to enhance team working and unity among participants; a talk on “Integrating power to create network for OV-CCA at Kantarawichai District, Maha Sarakham” by Ajarn Sakjaroen Pawaphutanon, Secretary of People Health Area 7. The afternoon session included activities in promotion of learning and team working, leadership development, and guard activity; a talk on “Life Cycle of Liver Flukes and How to Break the Cycle” by Dr. Kuthida Yasaka from Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University; a talk on “Immunizing the Youths by School Curricula” by Assoc. Prof. Angkana Tungkhasamit, from the Curricular Project, Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University. The evening session featured an influencing talk on “Force towards Changes” by Khun Traiphop Phonkha from Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute, Khon Kaen University. The event received monetary support from National Research Bureau, that also supports the Thai Challenging Research Project: Fluke Free Thailand. This project is being implemented to solve liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma problems in all dimension and in all levels from the primary, secondary to tertiary levels by developing knowledge and innovations and application of research outcomes to solve the problem at the locality. This would lessen the steps in devising tools and can sustainably solve the problems. The work has been ongoing with the Committee of People Health Areas through the Committee for Quality of Life Development at District Level under the form of “Prototype District for Solving Liver Fluke Disease and Cholangiocarcinoma”. The prototype areas were selected that are under the People Health Area 7 including areas in Roi-et, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham and Kalasin. Research projects have been implemented with the people in the areas, who have been carrying out the work similar to the ideal of Khon Kaen University, i.e., social dedication, solution of community problems and upgrading the quality of life of the people especially in Isan.

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News / Photos: Panithan Sribunruang