Thai Box Jellyfish Officials On Koh Samui
The following is a link to a great scuba diving blog I saw today that perfectly demonstrates how the Thai government is actively working on the ground (or beach as it were) with locals, ex-pats and tourism representatives to create a way forward in box jellyfish awareness and safety.
This is very encouraging and shows that the issue is taken seriously and should be taken seriously because innocent lives (no matter how many) are at risk. If something can be instituted to facilitate saving a life and potentially many lives over the oncoming decade, then every reasonable step should be taken to ensure that positive change is made.
Here is the article just in case you are unable to use the above link thanks to Camille Lemmens' fabulous scuba diving blog that takes an informed, common sense and responsible approach to marine safety :
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Jelly box fish Thai work group visiting Koh Samui
Today I went to see Dr. Lakkana Thaikurea and Dr. Potjaman Siriarayapon who were on one of their work visits to Koh Samui, were they presented their findings of their research into box jelly fishes around Thailand and in this particular case, around Koh Samui.
They work for the Ministry of Public Health’s Bureau of Epidemiology and they have also been in Australia and spent good time in Melbourne with John Lippmann, the CEO of DAN Asia Pacific and Andrew Jones, a journalist who's working on establishing awareness for box jellyfish, after his 4 year old son got stung in Koh Mak during a holiday in Thailand a couple of years ago. During their recent stay the Thai work group did meet all of the Northern Queensland experts on box jelly fish.
Their work in Thailand involves travelling around the country and collecting stories and data. They conduct seminars with health officials and provide training in box jellyfish safety and prevention. This area is one they are wanting to develop much stronger over the next 12 months.
Their work fits perfectly in my postings about the presence of box jelly fish in Thai waters out of which the link mentioned together with Andrew Jones' son above actually is the most visited post on this blog!
Back to the Thai team though, their work so far has included two stages and the first stage of getting proof that there are box jellyfish in Thai waters, in which they succeeded and the consequent recognition of problems that accompany this fact followed by the education to deal with this problem has been closed.
Now they are starting up phase 2 of their project, which is to set up a network around Thailand for surveillance and prevention.
Anybody interested, please feel free to get in touch with me and I will pass on your information to the right persons. Action is needed and each and every action you take may be of importance and will be helpful and appreciated.
Let me introduce the main players to you;
Dr. Lakkana Thaikurea; Advisor and Supervisor, she's an associate professor at the Medicine Faculty of the Chiang Mai University and has plenty of publications and research to her name. She has two blogs related to education and awareness of projects that she works on, including this box jelly fish project; this one is in Thai and English and this one is in Thai only.
Dr. Potjaman Siriarayapon; Advisor of the research and she works as an medical epidemiologist at the Bureau of Epidemiology, Ministry of Public Health.
She's very nice and interested in anything related to this project and much very in tune with the realities of this project and very sympathetic to the cause. She’s a very interesting person who has given box jellyfish a high priority considering Thailand has so many diseases and public health issues to deal with.
Dr. Rochana Wutthanarungsan; Principle investigator of the phase 1 research
Khun Punnarai; Project coordinator
Anybody interested in this topic, please don't hesitate to get in touch, it's highly appreciated.
Let's try to get awareness of box jelly fish in Thailand out there.
photo courtesy Camille Lemmens