AMDA Emergency Bulletin #18: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

News and Press Release
Originally published

As time has now entered mid-April, people in the afflicted regions have started to put their hands on rebuilding their lives in line with the start of school. As April is the beginning of a new school year in Japan, schools used as evacuation shelters have now resumed their daily classes. AMDA, delivering medical relief since Mar. 12th, is also shifting towards rehabilitative assistance to support rebuilding local medical systems.

In specific, AMDA will be handing over its activities to local doctors and medical facilities in the scope of re-creating the pre-quake medical environment and putting the medical systems back to normal. Arrangements are now underway to have all of AMDA teams withdrawn from the current working locations in Miyagi and Iwate by Apr. 20th. The decision was to not overly intervene in the recovery of medical systems led by the locals themselves.

Iwate Prefecture (the town of Ohtsuchicho):

On Apr. 11th, a group of confectioners from Okayama and Hiroshima delivered cakes to the children in the area where cake-decoration was demonstrated in front of them. It was held in line with AMDA's mobile clinic services and was well appreciated by the young and the elderly alike. As mentioned in the previous bulletin, a range of recreational activities were organized for children including dodge-ball matches and movie-viewing. These events helped children to vent their stress from their constrained evacuation life.

In addition, as part of AMDA's educational assistance, on Apr. 15th a group of high school students visited the town of Ohtsuchicho to take part in a high school exchange program. At the evacuation shelters, the students took part in the daily chores with local high school students and nurtured a spirit of friendship. The group also donated stationery to local schools and went back to Hiroshima on Apr. 16th.

Moreover, in response to AMDA's request Okayama's apparel companies donated more than 3,000 pairs of school uniforms to the students in the area. (Okayama is known for the center of sewing industry.)

While vitamin supplements were delivered to over 360 evacuees, acupuncture treatments have been continuously provided by a local therapist hired by AMDA on the spot. All of the medical services have been prolonged in collaboration with local doctors and medical facilities, however, the relief will be downsized in the course of time.

Miyagi Pref. (the town of Minamisanriku-cho):

The local Shizugawa Hospital will be opening a temporary clinic (using the prefabricated buildings handed over by the Israeli medical team ) on Apr. 18th

The needs for disaster medical relief is getting calm and the number of outpatients to AMDA's clinic in Shizugawa Elementary School is gradually getting less also (most of the patients are of chronic illnesses.) The feared outbreak of norovirus was subsided and no case has been found in the town as a whole as of now. It is likely that the transition from emergency relief to rehabilitative assistance will be made smoothly.

Latest dispatch of AMDA personnel:

25th group: 1 doctor, 1 nurse, 1 coordinator (Apr. 13th) 26th group: 1 doctor, 4 nurses, 1 coordinator (Apr. 14th)

Total number of AMDA’s relief personnel (as of Apr. 18th): 140

50 doctors, 31 nurses, 4 midwives, 2 assistant nurses, 3 pharmacists, 2 psychotherapists, 45 coordinators (including interpreters), 2 careworkers, 1 acupuncture therapist

Stay tuned for more updates.