KKU joins NRCT to sign MOU with the Roikaensarasin Group to propel the Model District Project for solving liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma problem, a leading project of 9 model districts

October 20, 2020 at Sarasin Room, 2nd Floor, Sirikunakorn Buidling, Office of the President, Khon Kaen University –  Khon Kaen University led by Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of the University; Khon Kaen Governor, Dr. Somsak Jungtrakoon and National Research Council led by Dr. Wiparat Dee-ong, Deputy Director of NRCT, Acting Director of NRCT signed MOU with provincial and district public health offices from 4 provinces, namely, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Roi-et and Kalasin. The MOU signing was witnessed by the related organizations. It is aimed at implementing the Model District Project to eradicate liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma. The project is under the collaboration between the National Research Council and Khon Kaen University by Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute. The objective is to solve the problem of the diseases, by targeting reduction of liver fluke infection in the implemented areas to less than 1%, encouraging over 80% of first-stage cholangiocarcinoma patients to undergo operations, and increasing the survival rate of cholangiocarcinoma patients in the areas to over 50% in 5 years. The project areas cover 9 model districts from the 4 provinces: Muang District, Ban Hat District and Banphai District in Khon Kaen; Srisomdet District and Chiangkhwan District in Roi-et; Tha Khantho District and Nongkungsri District in Kalasin; and Kantarawichai District and Kosumpisai District in Maha Sarakham.

Dr. Wiparat Dee-ong, Deputy Director of NRCT, Acting Director of the National Research Council said, “I’m very honored to have a chance to sign an MOU for academic cooperation, development and implementation of model districts for eradicating liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma. The National Research Council has supported Khon Kaen University under the Thailand Challenging Research Project: Fluke-Free Thailand, from 2016 until now. We have solved the problem of liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma based on a full-cycle pattern, from the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Narong Khanteekaew, the Director of Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute is the Project Director. The Thailand Challenging Research Project: Fluke-Free Thailand has achieved a lot of outcomes up to now. In order to obtain participation from the people and to truly solve the problem, NRCT is pleased to continue supplement the project, especially in developing the model districts and in expanding the participatory network for solving the liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma problem. It is expected that this will lead to the promotion of learning and adjusting the behaviors that will prevent the spread of the disease in the risk areas as well as the promotion and development of the network the prevention system and control of liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma in the risk areas based on cooperation with the community people, communities, schools, academic institutions, hospitals, and local administrative organizations. This will lead to efficient and sustainable problem solution in the long run.”

The Model District Project for eradicating liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma has the following objectives: 1) Build perception and awareness of liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma among the people. 2) Build cognizance in liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma at schools. 3) Implement work on fluke-free foods. 4) Implement work on fluke-free reservoir animals. 5) Screen liver fluke diseases in the risk groups. 6) Screen cholangiocarcinoma in the risk groups. 7) Develop a sustainable waste disposal system. 8) Develop a rapid and efficient transfer system for cholangiocarcinoma patients.

Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of the University said, “Khon Kaen University as a national research university and a leading university in the Northeast is aware of the severity of liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma both in Thailand and in the countries in the Me Kong Sub-region. We are strongly determined to solve the problem and consider the project very important, according to Khon Kaen University’s social dedication policy.”

“From the past continuing operations of Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institution, Khon Kaen University was able to convince the cabinet to approve the work that responds to the national 2016-2025 strategy in eradicating liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma as of June 21, 2016. The work was implemented under the Fluke-Free and Cholangiocarcinoma-Free Thailand for Thai Health in 2065. Therefore, to support the work under the strategic plan, Faculty of Medicine and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institution, Khon Kaen University has started the work of the Model District Project for Eradication of Liver Fluke Disease and Cholangiocarcinoma – through the support of the National Research Council (NRCT) and the Thailand Challenging Research Project: Fluke-Free Thailand – with the Population Health Committee Area 7 and District Quality of Life Development Committees in Roi-et, Maha Sarakham, Khon Kaen and Kalsin. The aim is to develop prototype or model districts for solving the problem sustainably in the future. The major activities will be to cut the life cycle of liver flukes in all dimensions, to provide medical care for risk-group population and liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma patients. The implemented areas are: Muang District, Ban Hat District and Banphai District in Khon Kaen; Srisomdet District and Chiangkhwan District in Roi-et; Tha Khantho District and Nongkungsri District in Kalasin; and Kantarawichai District and Kosumpisai District in Maha Sarakham. The incidence of liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma in these areas is high, and thus needs an academic institution to become the power behind the work. Khon Kaen University is happy to join in the project and drive it forward towards success as expected.

Dr. Somsak Jungtrakoon, Khon Kaen Governor said, “Because of the increasing severity of the situation of cholangiocarcinoma, Khon Kaen Provinve has responded to the national policy and has been solving the problems. We have appointed a working committee to solve the problem of liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma in risk areas in Khon Kaen. The work has been carried out under the District Quality of Life Development Committee, though a new problem-solving regime in which participation of the people is called for in order to acquire their suggestions and ideas for developing various projects. Khon Kaen University has seen the importance of this and always supports the solving of people health problems in complete cycle, and in this project, we are aiming at solving the problem from liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma.”

“Khon Kaen has a chance to act as a host and welcome the network to solve the liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma problem through development of model districts in 4 provinces and 9 districts, namely : Muang District, Ban Hat District and Banphai District in Khon Kaen; Srisomdet District and Chiangkhwan District in Roi-et; Tha Khantho District and Nongkungsri District in Kalasin; and Kantarawichai District and Kosumpisai District in Maha Sarakham. The work is under the support of the National Research Council and Khon Kaen University. I welcome all of you and all organizations. On behalf of Roikaensarasin Group, Khon Kaen Province will support all districts in the development of the model districts for solving the problem.

News / Photos: Panithan Sriboonruang

https://www.kku.ac.th/8035

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