The Great East Japan Earthquake followed by a massive Tsunami killed about 16,000 people and caused massive damage to the Minamisanriku hospital in Miyagi prefecture, Tohoku region. More than 4 years have passed since the great earthquake, and now Minamisanriku hospital made a new start as ‘Minamisanriku Hospital and Comprehensive Care Center’ on 14th December, 2015
After the initial emergency relief activities were over, as part of reconstruction phase, AMDA continued to support temporal Minamisanriku Clinic and Shizukawa Hospital in Tome City by sending medical and coordination personnel. Over hundreds of doctors, nurses, students, and coordinators have been dispatched to those hospitals three times a year for three years since 2012.
Recently, Mr. Yamakawa, who is an AMDA volunteer nurse and dispatched to Minamisanriku Clinic and Shizukawa Hospital many times, participated in the opening ceremony of the new hospital. He also helped in transferring the patients from old to the new building.
On the day of the opening ceremony, a closing ceremony was also held at an old Shizukawa Public Hospital in Yoneyama-cho. Then, patients were transferred to the new building with the help of firefighters and staff from Self-Defense Forces. The new hospital has 90 beds and the nurses were occupied with additional work besides the regular patients care. They have also started their outpatient clinic from December 16th.
Mr. Yamakawa stated, “Immediately after the earthquake, local hospital staff worked continuously without going home.” “Every time I came for their support, they say that I make them happy just by going there. This time, I am deeply moved because the new hospital has been opened. Local staff might face hard time getting used to the new environment, so I told them to seek assistance from me any time.” “I went there with the thoughts and minds of many people involved in the AMDA activities for The Great East Japan Earthquake.”