In January 2010, approximately 150 researchers and production staff from the Kashima Plant in Japan came together to take part in the plant's annual hhc meeting. Under the slogan “Understanding the Realities of Patients, ” the meeting was aimed at providing each individual employee with an opportunity to learn about the issues patients living with disease face on a daily basis and to gain an awareness of patients' latent needs so that they can then create new knowledge based on this new-found understanding and make contributions to patients by implementing hhc in their day-to-day work.
The meeting served as a forum for employees to share their views on hhc, with participants giving short presentations on the hhc projects they had engaged in over the past fiscal year. It also included the screening of a documentary film that followed a number of pediatric cancer patients, healthcare professionals and ex-patient volunteers involved in a summer camp over a period of ten years.
The film showed the children living life to the fullest despite battling cancer as well as sharing their hopes and dreams while attending the summer camp. Having had to fight for their lives right from a very young age, many of these children hope to help people suffering from illness once they themselves have recovered or work in the medical field some day. The director of the film was also invited along to the meeting as a special guest, where he spoke about the various experiences and hardships he encountered throughout his creative journey, from what prompted him to begin the project through to how he put the footage together to create the final documentary.
Employees who attended the meeting commented that the day had provided them with the chance to think about the value and meaning of life, that seeing the children fighting their illness had given them courage, and that it was a good opportunity to learn about the current situation of pediatric cancer. It was also an opportunity for the participants, as employees of a pharmaceutical company, to rethink the basics of their own work.
Eisai hopes that each and every employee will take what they learnt at the meeting and carry out their hhc activities with renewed passion in order to make further contributions to increasing the benefits to patients, their families and the wider public.