After one month has passed since the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit north-east Japan, people in the afflicted regions participated in a silent prayer on Apr. 11th. Even now, innumerable aftershocks are shaking the country which is causing the delay in the recovery of infrastructures and giving people high level of stress. Meanwhile, schools and hospitals are gradually getting back to normal with people making efforts towards it.
Iwate Prefecture (the town of Ohtsuchicho):
In order to uplift children's mood, toys and stuffed animals of a popular Japanese cartoon character was donated in response to the call for help from AMDA's pediatrician. The “Anpanman Program”, named after the character, was initiated in line with the ongoing mobile clinic services which provides recreation time for children besides medical treatments. While a number of stressed-related ailments are seen among patients, the program aims to take care of children's mental health and put them at ease.
Other than the above, many patients complain of troubles with their eyes as they are exposed to the powder dust from the rubble. A nutritional program has also been implemented to improve the unbalanced diet of the evacuees and plans are underway to provide vitamin supplements as well.
Miyagi Pref. (the town of Minamisanriku-cho):
While mobile clinic services were delivered to Omori district in Minamisanriku-cho, the local Shizugawa Hospital has taken over the temporary medical tents from the Israeli medical team. The hospital has put its hands on resuming their regular operations and is expected to be normalized gradually.
Norovirus is still prevalent in Minamisanriku-cho, however, the preventive/hygiene measures implemented by AMDA have been effective in controlling the outbreak. From now on, hygiene awareness will be very important due to the arrival of a warmer season. There are five norovirus patients out of 360 evacuees at Shizugawa Elementary School.
After receiving the above report, AMDA sent relief goods such as vitamin supplements, dust-proof goggles and paper towels to both Iwate and Miyagi.
Latest dispatch of AMDA personnel:
23rd group: 1 acupuncture therapist, 1 nurse (Apr. 11th) 24th group: 2 doctors (including AMDA President) (Apr. 12th)
Total number of AMDA’s relief personnel (as of Apr. 12th): 131
48 doctors, 27 nurses, 3 midwives, 2 assistant nurses, 3 pharmacists, 2 psychotherapists, 43 coordinators (including interpreters), 2 careworkers, 1 acupuncture therapist
Stay tuned for more updates.