Working with mothers and children after the Fukushima nuclear accident

Prof Aya Goto

Professor of Health Information and Epidemiology, Center for Integrated Science and Humanities, Fukushima Medical University



Japan is simultaneously confronting a declining birthrate and an increasing number of unintended pregnancies, which indicates the need for nurturing positive parenting. Following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, the complexity of parenting support became more apparent. Both as a mother and a health professional, I have observed community resilience in Fukushima in restoring the “ordinariness” while coping with radiation contamination. Recently, I have begun to explore life planning in a broader sense with a focus on children and young people. All these activities involve close collaboration with local professionals.



Brief Bio

Dr. Goto’s translational research in Health Information and Maternal and Child Health over the past 15 years has been conducted in tight collaboration with local communities in Japan and Vietnam and is combined with the capacity building of local health care professionals. Her projects bridge science and local communities, as well as developing and developed countries in Asia. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Dr. Goto has been working closely with public health nurses in Fukushima City, helping them respond appropriately to concerns among parents of small children about elevated background radiation. She also manages parenting support services, based on epidemiological data collected from the Fukushima Health Management Survey.