Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, society has become widely aware of the risks posed by the virus and ways to mitigate them, including by wearing PPE, social distancing, and quarantining. However, these COVID-19 safety measures have also restricted people from fulfilling important daily tasks and activities, and when people stop moving, growth and innovation can stop as well. The only way to regain progress is for the entire world, across all sectors, to take a stand against infectious diseases together.
“The World Beyond COVID-19” lecture series dives into combating infectious diseases through the lens of art, humanities, and environmental sustainability. The series consists of four sessions, each with an infectious disease specialist as a panelist and a special guest as an MC. The series dives into possibilities on how to look at the world through the filter of combatting infectious diseases. In the latter half of each lecture, three participants representing the younger generation of Japan engage with the panelist and special guest.
To learn more about this series (in Japanese), please visit the FGFJ Japanese-language website.
The first lecture in this series introduces Dr. Osamu Kunii, Head of Strategy, Investment, and Impact Division at the Global Fund. Dr. Kunii, who has been supporting infectious disease countermeasures in more than 130 countries around the world, shares his knowledge about the notion that “infectious diseases have no borders” and examines the responses of national leaders. He notes the dichotomy between the abundance of cross-border infections and the lack of cross-border support, and offers examples of cross-national cooperation to fight infectious diseases, all through the lens of the key word “borders.” The special guest moderator for this lecture is news anchor Takako Zemba.
In this second lecture of “The World Beyond COVID-19” series, Dr. Tairiku Hozumi, who has been involved in health policy projects in more than 20 countries over the past 20 years, discusses the world of art, which has held strong even through infectious disease crises. With “art” as the keyword, Dr. Hozumi unpacks the impact of infectious diseases on culture, what is important despite not being strictly necessary, and the fashion and music born as a result of infectious diseases. The special guest for this lecture is writer and TV personality, Mr. Hirotada Ototake.
In this third lecture in the series, Dr. Motoko Seko, a lecturer in the field of international cooperation and gender studies at Eikei University in Hiroshima, and a member of the Global Fund’s Technical Review Panel (TRP) in the areas of human rights and gender, discusses the world scarred by infectious diseases. Dr. Seko examines discrimination and human rights issues created by infectious diseases, the human rights violations against medical workers and women that have been seen in various countries during COVID-19, and the efforts that can be made only through an international network. Journalist Jun Hori joins as special guest.
The final lecture of “The World Beyond COVID-19” series features Dr. Taro Yamamoto, a tropical diseases researcher at Nagasaki University whose work focuses on diverse areas ranging from international contributions to environmental epidemiology, statistics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Dr. Yamamoto discusses the world of survival and recovery from infectious diseases. With “future” as the keyword, he examines the history of infectious diseases and humanity, the background of the Global Fund, the role of corporations and SDGs, and other topics to share a perspective on what we can do to overcome COVID-19 and promote a more sustainable future. The special guest for this lecture is Ms. Ayako Sonoda, Representative Director of Cre-en Incorporated.
To watch all of these videos and more, visit the FGFJ YouTube Playlist.
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