Niigata Prefecture – Health Center Activities: Case Study 3

Minami-Uonuma Health Center


  • Issues around STDs, including HIV/AIDS, were reviewed in 2010. Information exchange meetings on sexuality related issues have been conducted since 2011. The meetings highlighted the need for effective sexual health education for adolescents, as well as the shortage of human resources to provide lecturers.
  • To address this issue, the Health Center recruited lecturers and developed education materials through four discussion meetings on “adolescent sexuality and health support.” These meetings were held between 2014 and 2016. Meeting members included nursing school teachers, nurse-teachers from junior high and high schools, midwives from medical institutions and a midwifery association, public health nurses from the Minami-Uonuma Health Center and municipal public health nurses, and members from the municipal board of education. Regarding the recruitment of lecturers, the Health Center made an initial approach to potential lecturers mainly via professionals participating in the Training on Adolescent Health Support. Official requests were sent to the lecturer’s organizations if they accepted. The materials developed for this project were used in practice in FY 2016, and an evaluation was conducted based on questionnaire given to students and lecturers. As the results showed a positive effect in improving levels of knowledge as well as the image the students had about sexuality, the same materials are still being used, with updates to statistics and data.

Overview of activities

■ Deployment of external lecturers

  • Third-year students from 7 public junior high schools in Minami-Uonuma city
  • 7 midwives or public health nurses selected from medical institutions, municipalities, at-home midwives’ associations, medical schools, and health centers
  • Each school pays its own expenses for the deployment of lecturers
  • Once a year

  • A one-hour lecture is provided based on the materials developed, covering themes such as the prevention of AIDS/STDs, body mechanisms, means to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and information on where to seek support. Sometimes additional topics are included according to the problems seen in each school
  • Initiatives are shared by during information exchange meetings that take place during the Training on Adolescent Health Support
Special Features of the Program
  • The Health Center tries to respond to the requests by schools based on preliminary meetings with them, and decides on the content of health education
  • The Health Center makes careful consideration of the way issues should be explained, making sure to use expressions that are easy for students to understand

Strengths of the Initiative

  • Collaboration among different professionals
    • The Health Center’s jurisdiction covers on one city and one town, so face-to-face partnerships are a strength of this project. It is easy to share information and opinions.

Current Issues of the Initiative

  • Ensuring the availability of lecturers
    • Each institution sends offers to lecturers, but the project largely relies of the passion of lectures. It is unclear just how long this system will continue to function.
  • Updating education materials
    • When to review and revise the existing materials to reflect on the changing social environment for adolescents.

Direction for Future Development

  • Ensuring the continuity of the project
    • There are plans to set a venue within FY2019 for a discussion on future initiatives.

Expectations for other stakeholders

  • Schools
    • Schools need to incorporate new approaches and information, in line with current situations and the changing social environment that adolescents face.
  • Municipalities
    • Although currently the Health Center plays a primary role in connecting schools and other stakeholders, it would be better to hand over management of this project to municipalities.
    • The Health Center hopes adolescent education will be made part of the Childcare Support Project in the future.


  • Health Center
    • Pharmaceuticals and Prevention Division, Health and Welfare Department, Minami-Uonuma Regional Promotion Bureau, Niigata Prefecture


Interview date: December 2017

Health Center Activities

Providing sexual and reproductive health education (AIDS/STD Prevention) through a community- and needs-based approach led by health centers