History of the Program

The Takemi Program in International Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health was established in 1983. The Takemi Program grew from the shared interests of Dr. Taro Takemi and Dean Howard Hiatt. Each had long been concerned about promoting health and preventing disease, both in developing countries burdened by poverty and in industrialized nations now feeling more sharply the constrains of limited resources in meeting health needs.

In 1975, Dr. Takemi, then President of the World Medical Association (WMA), set the theme of the WMA Plenary Session the development and equitable distribution of health care. Particular Stress was placed on the need to bring together experts from medicine, public health, economics, law politics and other fields to find effective solutions to the complex and important problems discussed.

During the same period, under the leadership of Dr. Hiatt, was also emphasizing the development of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of health problems. In 1981, Dr. Takemi invited Dean Hiatt to Tokyo to address another WMA meeting on ‘Development and Allocation of Medical Care Resources.’ While there, Dean Hiatt and Dr. Takemi discussed the problems of international health. Out of their discussions grew the idea of the Takemi Program.

The Program is guided by seven principles: