AMDA Emergency Bulletin #19: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

News and Press Release
Originally published

AMDA team completed the transfer of work to local entities in both Iwate and Miyagi and ended all of its direct medical assistance on Apr. 20th. While most of AMDA personnel have withdrawn from the work sites, AMDA will sustain its assistance through the rehabilitation phase.

Iwate Prefecture (the town of Ohtsuchicho):

Contrary to the arrival of a warmer season, the northeastern Japan still needs to endure occasional blizzards. And while entire Japan has entered a new school year from April, Ohtsuchi High School in the severely devastated Ohtsuchicho was no exception. In the midst of housing approximately 270 evacuees in the school gym, the school held a general assembly to embark on a new semester. Furthermore, the number of evacuees in the region has relatively decreased as a whole.

As the focus of AMDA’s relief activities shifted towards rehabilitative assistance from emergency medical relief, the team ended its regular medical consultation at the shelter and downsized its medical service solely to acupuncture therapy (mainly held by a locally-hired therapist.)

For the next one month, the heavily damaged Ohtsuchi Hospital will offer medical services temporarily at a local community center. Meanwhile, the work is underway to resume their regular operation at their actual hospital building with new facilities that will allow X-ray, dialysis, blood tests, surgical operations and admission of patients.

Among AMDA team members was a coordinator originally from Ohtsuchicho. Undoubtedly, things would not have gone so smooth without her presence.

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

Besides a handover of AMDA’s activities had taken place, the team organized a range of recreational activities for those persevering the prolonged evacuation life.

On Apr. 19th at Shizugawa Elementary School, the team opened “Cafe de AMDA”, a temporary cafe to serve hot chocolate and coffee to the evacuees. The event ended with great success which garnered more 70 visitors in one hour. The air was filled with aromatic fume from authentically brewed paper-drip coffee and some even said it was the first cup of hot chocolate they had after the disaster hit. AMDA staff also baked cookies with children using a temporary oven; the children enjoyed shaping cookie dough and had a fun and tasty time together.

From now on, AMDA will back up Shizugawa Hospital during the rehabilitation phase.

Latest dispatch of AMDA personnel:

27th group: 1 coordinator (Apr. 18th) 28th group: 1 nurse, 2 coordinators (Apr. 20th)

Total number of AMDA’s relief personnel (as of Apr. 18th): 146

50 doctors, 32 nurses, 4 midwives, 2 assistant nurses, 3 pharmacists, 2 psychotherapists, 50 coordinators (including interpreters), 2 careworkers, 1 acupuncture therapist

Stay tuned for further developments.