2024/07/24 00:49

The Pioneer that Contributes to Multiculturalism in the Field of Medicine

As the number of long-stay foreigners is increasing, the number of foreign women who give birth in Japan is also increasing rapidly. However, it is still challenging for them to give birth and to raise the kids with the existence of the language barrier. We interviewed Ms. Yukari Fujiwara, the pioneer midwife and researcher in nursing care of foreign expectant mothers, who strives to improve the current situation.
Why did you decide to assist foreign women?

As it happened, I worked at a hospital in Shinjuku-ku where many foreigners visit. Back then, people from various nations attended birth. I got the sense that language barrier and differences in culture were both mental and physical burdens to them. That became the trigger that motivated me to accumulate experience and to do research.
The experiences of doing research in cross-cultural nursing and being in the field were really valuable. Since Australia is a country that has many immigrants, there is a basis for people of various nations to live together. Because Japan has a different stand in the way people think about foreigners and the national system is also totally different, we cannot really compare it with Australia. However, I hope that more and more medical personnel will show their concerns as the number of foreigners giving birth in Japan is likely to increase.

To be more concrete, what sort of activities are you engaged in?

We made a multilingual pamphlet for foreign expectant mothers (see note 1) and hand it out. At the same time, we have been working to let them understand the current situation foreign expectant mothers are in and to have them stay in close contact with us.
We received many people’s cooperation during the production of this pamphlet.
In the future, we aim to educate more medical personnel about the current situation of cross-cultural medical care and provide friendly medical care to foreigners.

You can download this multilingual pamphlet from RASC’s website. If you know any foreign expectant mother, let her know about this!http://www.rasc.jp/
The editorial department of Senseup will be reporting Ms. Fujiwara’s activities in multicultural nursing regularly. Don’t miss them!

Profile of Ms. Yukari Fujiwara

A midwife as well as a nurse. She worked at a hospital in Shinjuku-ku where many foreigners visit. She then studied cross-cultural nursing at Sydney University, Australia and has experience in teaching. She is now a candidate for the Ph.D. at St. Luke’s College of Nursing.
She has also been participating in NPO and other supporting groups that provide comprehensive support to foreigners in Japan. She is pursuing how medical personnel should provide medical care to foreign women and their children in Japan.

[Research and Supporting Multi-cultural Healthcare Services (RASC) is an organization that aims to provide support to foreigners so that they can get the same medical care as Japanese.] http://www.rasc.jp/