AMDA Emergency Relief #5: Typhoon Hagibis, Japan

Report
from Association of Medical Doctors of Asia
Published on 23 Oct 2019

While more than a week has passed since Typhoon Haigibis hit Japan’s east and northeast regions, AMDA has carried out relief work in Nagano, Fukushima and Miyagi Prefectures. According to the latest media reports, the death toll has topped 80, leaving over 56,000 buildings affected.

Nagano: The night-time medical consultations which AMDA offered at two evacuation shelters in Nagano City (Toyono-Higashi Elementary School and Minami-Nagano Sports Park) finished on the 17th of October. From then onward, AMDA decided to focus on the day-time consultation service at the said elementary school where some 250 evacuees had been seeking shelter.

As there were people who could not seek medical treatment in nearby hospitals after their cars were submerged, AMDA collaborated with the local city government, the city health bureau and the shelter officials to refer them to medical facilities by taxi.

On the 18th, AMDA, with the help of other organizations, finally managed to provide cardboard beds to all of the evacuees. Meanwhile, seven units of portable toilets were newly installed, foreseeing the evacuation life in the long-run.

On the 20th, a team specialized in DVT (deep vein thrombosis) arrived. 19 people were suspected of economy-class syndrome and three of them were referred to a local medical facility.

Since the shelter started to run smoothly, AMDA handed over its work to local organizations and completed the mission on the same day (20th). Yet, AMDA is keeping an eye on the situation considering the possible rainfall.

Fukushima:
In Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, AMDA provided aid from the 15th at Sports Arena Soma which housed over 40 evacuees. With a physiotherapist and nurses being the core members, AMDA team worked around the clock to offer general consultations for those who were anxious about their health conditions or people on medication. After sharing all the findings with the city’s public health nurses up to that point, AMDA handed over the work to Soma City Health and Welfare Department on the 18th.

Miyagi:
In the town of Marumori-machi, Miyagi Prefecture, 58 units of cardboard beds were installed on the 17th at Marumori Elementary School, the town’s main evacuation center. In the meantime, AMDA personnel were divided into two teams, namely, 1) the health support team and 2) the environmental management team, to provide comprehensive aid.

Together with TMAT (a medical relief organization), the health support team went around the shelter to check the evacuees’ health conditions; also asking to see if they had been taking care of their oral hygiene. At a medical post set at the town hall, the team checked the wounds of those who received surgical operations on the day before. All of the activities were reported to public health nurses stationed at the shelter.

The environmental management team finished putting together the documents needed for the shelter management. In addition to the clean-up activity for preventing infectious outbreaks, the team tried to furnish the facility in the way that minimizes the evacuees’ physical burden (e.g. building a shoe cabinet that matches people’s heights etc.)

On the 20th, “VivAce”, a group of high school girls from Fukushima, delivered desserts to the shelter which uplifted the mood of the evacuees and aid workers alike.

On the following day, one carer was dispatched from Okayama to fulfill the elderly-care needs such as helping the elderly with bathing and other daily activities. The carer joined the ground team on the 22nd.