November 22, 2021
Title: JICA COVID-19 Webinar Series - Sharing of Japanese Experiences - 9th Webinar
Date: November 22, 2021
Sponsors: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Dr HOHDA Ryo, Associate Professor, School of Geosciences and Civil Engineering, Kanazawa University
Dr KITAJIMA Masaaki, Associate Professor, Division of Environment Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University
Dr IHARA Masaru, Associate Professor, Faculty of Agriculture and Marine Science, Kochi University
Dr ISONO Mitsuo, MD, JICA Senior Advisor
The end of the COVID-19 pandemic remains out of sight. To overcome challenges in these times of uncertainty, Japan set the goal of leaving no one's health behind. JICA is taking a holistic approach to address issues related to the pandemic and health security in partner countries by focusing on prevention, precaution and treatment. Using this approach, it hopes to contribute to the protection of people's lives as the urgent target and build increasingly resilient societies.
In a situation where appropriate solutions are lacking,continuously sharing the latest research findings and the knowledge and experience gained through practice is imperative. Thus, this webinar invites distinguished researchers and clinicians in Japan to share the latest knowledge and experience in their respective fields and promote the efforts of each country in protecting people from COVID-19.
In this the 9th webinar in the series, the three speakers presented an overview of COVID-19 wastewater surveillance throughout the world, the latest research findings and testing methods developed in Japan and discussed adaptation of the methods in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Wastewater surveillance is expected to be utilized as an effective surveillance tool to complement traditional surveillance methods in the presence of unrecognized infections.
A total of 222 participants from 46 countries participated in the webinar. Several questions were asked about the advantages of wastewater surveillance, effective sampling and analysis methods, and possibilities for utilizing surveillance in LMICs. Wastewater surveillance is more cost-effective than clinical PCR tests for individuals and contributes to better understanding of the extent of COVID-19 within a region. All the speakers emphasized the future possibilities for utilization of wastewater surveillance in various countries.