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February 2016 Laos Preliminary Research Report (Azuma)

2016 Laos Preliminary Research Report
For eight days from February 21 to 28, 2016, Associate Professor Nonaka and graduate students Takahashi and Azuma visited Laos as part of the research on “innovative technical research and development through genetic epidemiology aimed at controlling the spread of malaria and key parasitic infestations in Laos (SATREPS).” The purpose of this trip was to explain the study to local cooperating researchers and request their cooperation as well as conduct a preliminary study on site. This report describes the activities conducted and findings.

Descriptions of the study were given to researchers and requests for their cooperation presented at the SATREPS Office at the Pasteur Institute in Vientiane and the Malaria Station in Savannakhet Province, Laos. The cooperating researchers provided advice on improving weak points of the study, which I intend to use to revise and improve my own research.
The preliminary study collected information about malaria from data maintained at each facility, patient records, and questions posed to the staff at the Sepone District Hospital and health centers within Sepone District. This made it possible to learn about each facility, methods that staff employ for controlling malaria as well as problem points, and the current condition of malaria patients.
This trip was a first experience for requesting cooperation on the research and conducting a preliminary study. Coupled with my own insufficient preparation, the work did not proceed as I had hoped, but there were many other things gained. I will be working hard so that the information gained on this trip is put to use in this research project. Also, I once again realized through this trip that it is precisely because of the cooperation of those around me that this study will be able to be conducted. I intend to undertake this research, while never forgetting to return to and thank those who have provided their cooperation. (First-year doctoral candidate Masashi Azuma)