Bridging from Kobe to Sichuan

Disaster Nursing Guide Translation by Foreign Students Network
(from SGRA Essay 133)

by Junko Imanishi

1. Foreign Students Network: SGRA

It started from one mail from Chengdu, China, on May 16th, the mail came from Dr. Hu Xiuying (obtained her doctorate from the Institute of Nursing at Chiba University in 2006; SGRA member) of the West China Hospital of Sichuan University. She wrote: “Most of the time, I do my best in handling emergency cases. During my rest periods, I am translating the disaster health care knowledge base. China is behind in earthquake medical and health care knowledge. There is not much time, and my efforts alone have little effect, so I would appreciate your assistance. At least, I think that it would help if I distribute this to the nurses and doctors at the disaster area.” Upon receiving such request, [I] got in contact with Dr. Wu Yuping (obtained her doctorate from the institute of medicine of Chiba University in 2000; SGRA member) who willingly accepted to take care of coordination. A call for translation volunteers was sent out through the mailing lists of SGRA and former Atsumi Scholarship Recipients. At the same time, as per the request of Dr. Hu, translation work started on “things one should know at the early phases of a disaster” and “things one should know during the recovery phases from a disaster”. [I] also had calls made through other networks in which members belonged. A total of 38 people volunteered.

2. Disaster Health Care Base: Graduate School for Nursing of University of Hyogo, COE Program

It was not by accident that Dr. Hu came upon this home page. On the day after the earthquake, May 13th, [she] requested her mentor in Japan, Professor Kazuko Ishigaki of Chiba University, to send documents and books on disaster nursing and disaster medicine. The professor promised right away to send the materials, and also introduced the home page of Graduate School for Nursing of University of Hyogo for “Development of a Center of Excellence for Disaster Nursing in a Ubiquitous Society: Information Base for Disaster Nursing Knowledge and Skills to Protect Lives ? So as not to forget that fateful day -, which was being managed by the COE Program of University of Hyogo. Dr. Hu immediately started translating, but doing it alone during her breaks was not enough, so he called upon SGRA. On the other hand, the University Hyogo Disaster Nursing Research Team, in addition to the medium- to long-term care, gathered and posted information on emergency nursing that might be useful to China. Even though translation has already started, the Chinese home page has not yet been publicized.
3. Chinese Homepage
On May 20th, as the project was getting into swing, [I] contacted Prof. Aiko Yamamoto of the University of Hyogo Regional Care Research and Development Center, and requested for the posting in their homepage the translations made by foreign student volunteers so as to have this work used by as wide as possible an audience.[I] immediately received the reply “consider our homepage to be very useful with respect to medium- to long-term nursing care, so your cooperation with the translation is really of great help.” Just in time, on the same day, the Chinese page was publicized.
Thereafter, the Chinese guide was updated with additional information, so that by May 27th, two weeks after the earthquake, all of the PDF files, which was initially planned, has been uploaded to the site. In this translation project, given the active cooperation of a lot of people in such a short time, [I] highly think of the contribution that this activity has made. I pay respect to Dr. Hu of Sichuan University, who has been continually active since the earthquake, and the professors at University of Hyogo and Chiba University Nursing Departments. I would also like to thank Dr. Wu and the host of translator volunteers who responded very quickly.

5. Next Project

I received the following mail from Prof. Yamamoto: “the situation is changing at a speed so high, exceeding our initial projections. Considering the enormity of the disaster area, and the extraordinary number of victims, the work of Japan and public health officers will become necessary. Nursing work has to be done in terms of visiting evacuation centers and temporary shelters, and to ensure the health and livelihood of those who live such areas. We are now creating an educational program that would enable nurses to act as public health officers, given that there are no public health officers in China. Would it be possible to translate the contents of this program into Chinese?” The translation project is still on-going. At this point, the translation work is not as big a scale as the first one, but anyone who is interested in volunteering to translate from Japanese to Chinese is requested to get in touch with the SGRA office.