AMDA Japan tsunami relief: update 8

AMDA Emergency Bulletin #8: Japan Earthquake
(2011-03-24)

AMDA teams are ongoingly engaged in medical services both in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures. This report is on the activities in Kamaishi City and the town of Ohtsuchicho in Iwate Pref. as of Mar. 22nd.

Iwate Pref. (Kamaishi City and the town of Ohtsuchicho):

In the morning of Mar. 22nd, AMDA coordinators visited a local temple in Kamaishi City where remains of the victims have been placed. The coordinators gave thought to the matters pertaining to their funeral.

Later that day, the coordinators visited each of AMDA’s working locations in both Kamaishi City and Ohtsuchicho to assess the current developments of the teams’ relief activities. They also visited Akahama district to determine the extent of the disaster followed by the visit to the disaster headquarters set at Shiroyama Gymnasium in Ohtsuchicho.

As of now, including the loss of the town mayor and its civil servants, the municipality of Ohtsuchio has not yet recovered its administrative function. Hence, the staff from Iwate Prefectural Government, Kamaishi City Government and the Self-Defense Force have been present to back up the administration. On the same day, three coordinators and one nurse arrived to join the existing teams.

The developments around the evacuation centers are as follows:

Futaba Elementary School:

AMDA staff visited the office of a local medical association to discuss how to hand over AMDA’s current activities to a local doctor. Meanwhile, one pharmacy in Kamaishi City offered to deliver medicines per request in case the stock runs out.

Kamaishi City Gymnasium:

As most of the medicines provided here are generic ones, one of AMDA doctors requested pharmaceutical dictionaries for reference. The doctor reported that without having the dictionaries he had to use his mobile phone to check what the drugs are. Later on, the doctor managed to obtain the dictionaries through the doctors working elsewhere. Medical dictionaries of this sort are difficult to find locally and are only obtainable in Morioka City, the capital.

Kamaishi Junior High School:

One doctor and one midwife from AMDA have been making utmost efforts to meet the local needs. While the school is used for an evacuation shelter, many of its students were present on that day as their graduation ceremony was held.

Ohtsuchi High School:

There are several medical teams from universities working at the school; two doctors from Iwate Medical University are scheduled to work until Mar. 25th.; likewise, Gunma University’s medical team will be bringing in electrocardiogram and X-ray machines to work for two days from Mar. 23rd. While some of AMDA’s medical personnel continue to work at the school, two AMDA doctors will be delivering mobile clinic services (using electric vehicles) to the vicinity.

The report on the activities in Miyagi Prefecture (Sendai City and the town of Minamisanriku-cho) will be posted shortly.

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