Table Speech

Initiation Speech I
Oral Health Supports Our Active Life

July 16, 2014

Mr. Sadayoshi Fujishige

 Our company started selling “toothpowder” in 1896. Back then, caries incidence rate of Japanese people was as high as 96%. Our company felt alarmed that we might die out of cavities and has undertaken “oral hygiene promotion campaigns,” including the Mass Tooth Brushing Drills for children throughout Japan. Today a twelve-year-old child has on average 1.05 cavities, a sharp decline by 3.7 over the past 30 years. Periodontal diseases keep growing, on the other hand, in line with the aging of our society. Reports from countries around the world have proved that periodontal diseases can affect our general health. For example, you will have 2.1 times higher risk of a stroke and 3.9 times higher risk of pneumonia if you have periodontal diseases. There is a growing recognition that oral health is instrumental in keeping our general health and “quality of life.”

 The “8020 campaign” has taken root in Japan that aims to keep more than 20 of our own teeth until the age of 80. In 2011, 38.3% of the elderly met this goal and the ratio keeps growing. “8020” serves as one of the indices to make us active throughout our life.

 We asked centenarians about their enjoyment. Survey results show that eating well comes out top, followed by chatting with family members, sleeping well and chatting with friends comes 4th. We have learnt that human happiness boils down to simple enjoyment in our daily life, in which oral health plays a crucial role.

 Keeping a well-balanced diet as well as chewing our food thoroughly is important to “eat well.” According to a nutritionist Dr. Shiro Kawashima, the ideal food habit consists of “1 serving of meat, 2 servings of vegetables and 5 servings of grains.” You are also advised to chew 30 times for each bite before swallowing. You can prevent dementia by chewing well and saliva secreted through mastication has an inhibitory effect on carcinogenic substances.

 I believe “talking a lot” and communicating with others make us more human. We can enrich or maintain the quality of our life and keep mental health by talking with others.

 You might think losing your teeth with age is inevitable. Yet, 75% of tooth loss is preventable by appropriate dental care. “Preventive dentistry” is crucial that includes professional preventive care provided by dentists on a regular basis as well as oral care at home by “brushing your teeth three times a day after meals,” “using interdental brush or dental floss” and “using mouth-wash before going to bed and after getting up” as a habit.

 As I close my speech, let me reassure you that oral health supports your active life. “Chew well to enjoy good eating,” “Listen well to enjoy good talking” and “Be full of emotion to enjoy good laughing” will enrich your life. I believe we can lead a healthy and active life by feeling grateful for being kept alive.

Initiation Speech II
About Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant

July 16, 2014

Mr. Masao Nakabayashi
President, Aiiku Maternal & Child Health Center

 A baby inside a mother is connected to the placenta in the womb by the umbilical cord, or “naval string.” All the nutrients and oxygen are carried from a mother to a baby through the cord. Umbilical cord blood that circulates in the cord is a rich source of undifferentiated cells, including hematopoietic stem cells that give rise to all the other blood cells like leukocytes and erythrocytes. “Umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT)” is a hematopoietic stem cell transplant to patients suffering from a variety of hematological diseases. Together with “bone-marrow transplantation,” it is the treatment of the last resort with great effect on leukemia.

 Dr. Nakahata made the first discovery in 1982 that umbilical cord blood contained a large number of hematopoietic stem cells. About ten years from this discovery, the first UCBT in Japan was performed between siblings. Since then, cord blood banks have been established across Japan that allows transplantations between third parties. Cord tissues are stored through extracting, refining and freezing them at -192℃. In 1999, the “Japan Cord Blood Bank Network” was founded with the full support from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare as well as the Japanese Red Cross Society. Cord blood is collected at over 100 maternity clinics across Japan, thanks to the generous understanding by expectant mothers and voluntary activities provided by obstetricians and gynecologists as well as midwives. Today, over 1,000 UCBTs are performed annually. Together with bone-marrow transplantations that total 1,200 a year, they account for most of the hematopoietic stem cell transplantations between third parties. Japan has become the leading country in the world where one-third of UCBTs are performed, thanks to the excellent coordination provided by the Network that facilitates selection of high-quality cord blood.

 Let me compare the advantages and disadvantages of bone-marrow transplantation and UCBT. Cord blood can be collected without causing risk or pain to the donor. It is also easier to match the patient’s and donor’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) without delay as the data on cord blood stored across Japan are accessible on the network. Clinical results from the Institute of Medical Science of the University of Tokyo show that UCBT performed at an appropriate time resulted in a survival rate that exceeded 90%. Bone-marrow harvest, on the other hand, can be more risky and painful as it is taken from the femur or the sternum of a donor put under general anesthesia. When it comes to HLA matching, it is more difficult and requires a few months for coordination to adjust the schedule with the bone-morrow donor.

 I believe there is a growing demand for UCBT in our aging society as malignant diseases, including leukemia, increase with advancing age. Cord blood banks are expected to fulfill their social responsibilities to ensure a steady supply of high-quality and safe cord blood.