AMDA Emergency Relief #8: Typhoon Hagibis, Japan

Report
from Association of Medical Doctors of Asia
Published on 30 Oct 2019

Although two weeks have passed since AMDA started providing aid at Marumorimachi and Nagano City, the recovery may still take a substantial amount of time until both localities get completely normalized. While many people have been forced to remain in shelters in Marumorimachi, there are some medical facilities that are yet to reopen in Nagano City due to the lingering effects of the typhoon.

Miyagi (Marumorimachi):

As of the 29th, 50 people have been seeking shelter at Marumori Elementary School. The evacuees have been trying to counter the lack of exercise by taking a walk, or attending a morning exercise session organized by aid givers. They are also eager to keep their living space neat and tidy by taking part in the routine clean-up. Likewise, the toilets have been kept surprisingly clean despite the ongoing water outage.

The acupuncture therapy has been provided daily from 9am to 8pm since its launch on the 23rd. As the shelter life drags on, a growing number of evacuees have complained of worsening bodily symptoms such as backache or shoulder pain. A mother of a young child said she was happy that her sore shoulders were soothed after the treatment. It is fair to say that weeks of evacuation life has increased the physical burden of young mothers, especially because they have to hold their children in their arms longer than usual.

Acupuncture has been welcomed by aid givers as well. Among 110 patients who came to receive the treatment were local welfare commissioners who acted as mediators between the shelter staff and evacuees.

Nagano:

In Toyono, Nagano City, several medical facilities were flooded along with ordinary residences. AMDA is currently helping a local hospital, San-ikukai, in reopening the facility in the earliest possible date. The hospital has not been able to resume outpatient services since the first floor of the building was inundated. As of now, the ground team is tackling an issue in which the hospital cannot use water because of the damaged sewage treatment system.

Meanwhile, AMDA personnel and the hospital staff have been discussing practical procedures aimed at the service resumption such as where to set a temporary consultation room or how to handle outpatients upon arrival. Furthermore, they are putting together a reference document which will be distributed to nearby medical facilities and pharmacies to seek their cooperation.

On the 28th, the director of Suwa Chuo Hospital (AMDA’s counterpart in Chino City, Nagano) visited San-ikukai to provide guidance while, on the 29th, one coordinator was sent from Suwa Chuo to join San-ikukai's reopening effort. The coordinator is now working with two AMDA nurses in preparation for the hospital resumption.