Global Health Linkages: Kunming and Southeast Asia

Participants gather outside at Kunming Medical University's 80th Anniversary Celebration.

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Kunming Medical College, CMB President Lincoln Chen attended the celebratory conference on rural medical education in China and neighboring Southeast Asia. Based at the university’s new and vast Chenggong Campus (109 hectares for 15,000 students and 6,750 staff and faculty working in 15 schools with 11 affiliated hospitals), the Kunming ceremony was opened by President Jiang Runsheng’s welcoming speech followed by representatives of staff, students, foreign friends, alumni, and the provincial government. Prominent among the hosts were Vice President Yan Li and International Cooperation Director Liu Hong along with Professor Liu Wei, the Director of Kunming’s Global Health Institute in the School of Public Health.

On prominent display was Kunming’s strong relations with Southeast Asian medical universities, demonstrated by participants from Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, and also France, Australia, and the United States. An accompanying “International Medical Education Seminar: Feature and Experience of Medical Education in Different Regions – Focus on Rural Medical Education” was opened by President Jiang who described the rural education system in China. Lincoln Chen followed with a synthesis of findings on rural education in various global reports. The remaining three speakers (President Niwrest Nantachit of Chiangmai on rural education in Thailand; Professor Guy Vicendon, Dean medicine, University of Strasbourg on France; and Professor Ian Puddy, dean, University of Western Australia) all contributed to the sharing of rich experiences. Given vast rural populations in Yunnan Province and Kunming’s proximity to Southeast Asia, Kunming represents an important Chinese hub for regional exchange in the context of China and global health.