11 days have passed since AMDA started providing medical assistance at a local elementary school (Hiroyasu Elementary School) in Mashiki-machi, Kumamoto, the hardest-hit disaster site.
On April 24th alone, 45 people (22 men, 23 women) visited the mobile clinic with ailments such as acute respiratory infections (17 cases) which counted the most, followed by stress-related symptoms (headache and insomnia: nine) and external injuries (seven). The evacuation shelter at the elementary school has also strengthened hygiene measures as norovirus patients were reportedly found in other evacuation facilities. Now, the shelter tasks all people to take off their shoes upon entering the building.
On April 25th, the team offered a foot-spa massage in cooperation with Yamaga City Office and Mizube Plaza, a local spa facility. More than 50 people were soothed by the massage: some said it was indeed the first time to immerse one’s feet in hot water after the disaster struck, and that they can get sound sleep at last because of this.
Likewise, medical professionals, namely, acupuncturist, physiotherapist and carer have joined the team since April 25th in accordance with the growing needs in such fields. One acupuncturist from the locality, not to mention an evacuee himself, had been voluntarily offering treatments at evacuation centers, and his untiring efforts prompted fellow acupuncturists from Miyazaki Prefecture to join the mission (which later developed into what it is now.) Their treatments have greatly saved those who were suffering from edema and body aches due to prolonged shelter life.
For elderly people whose activity level tends to wane drastically during evacuation life, AMDA’s medical personnel have been thoroughly going around to grasp their conditions. The team also allocated a special room for those who are in need of serious nursing care in which the room is equipped with card-board beds and portable toilets to ease their burden.
As of now, there are approximately 300 evacuees staying inside the school building; about 500 people have been forced to spend their days inside the car or outdoors. Meanwhile, a so-called “tent village” (made up of 125 tents) was set up
in Mashiki-machi Athletic Complex Park. The tents were donated by AMDA’s long-standing collaborator, Soja City Government in Okayama, where AMDA is based.