AMDA Emergency Relief for Kumamoto Earthquake 16~17 (Summary)
On May 9th, the schools resumed classes after 25 days from the day the earthquake struck Kumamoto. 138 evacuees at Hiroyasu Elementary School (AMDA’s activity base) in Mashiki-machi were mostly relocated to the school gym from the classrooms where they were taking refuge. For now, the school will be run while housing evacuees at the same time.
Accordingly, the medical room which was initially set at the school nurse’s office has moved to the gym. Since then, it is functioning as a makeshift aid post where nurses (no doctors) are stationed to deal with basic medical needs. The relocation was prompted by the resuming of local medical facilities, coupled with the decline in emergency medical needs. The decision also came in the wake of the restart of the school.
Meanwhile, the temporary healthcare room set up at the tent village in Mashiki-machi Athletic Complex Park, will continue its usual operation, offering acupuncture treatments as a pillar of its services. The clinic has extended its business hours for three hours (from 10am to 8pm) to make it convenient for the evacuees who are busy during the daytime (the evacuees have been going back and forth between their damaged homes and the shelter.) The tent village has also introduced tarps in line with the arrival of the warmer season.
The elderly evacuees who are in need of constant nursing care have now been moved to a special nursing home in Kumamoto City. The facility (in which the elderly evacuees were once offered to use its baths) is now officially certified as a “nursing shelter” to accept those who are in need of constant nursing care. AMDA has sent several social workers as a collaborative effort with Okayama Elderly People’s Medical Facilities Association.
The temporary toilets set up at the shelter were well appreciated for maintaining a high level of hygiene. It bore fruit as a result of thorough daily cleaning which helped prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases. The evacuees were simply happy to be able to use clean toilets amid the prolonged evacuation life.
It is also worth mentioning that Tokyo-based sportswear manufacturer, Descente, kindly donated support socks to help ease the leg swelling and edema of those who are taking refuge in the shelters or forced to sleep in their cars. The recipients were thankful that their symptoms were greatly improved by them.
The acupuncture treatments have been steadily in high demand which have helped both evacuees and relief personnel in relieving their physical and mental burden. “What counts is how much you could relate to their feelings. It is always important to spend enough time conversing with them, sharing what each has been going through,” one of the acupuncturists said.
As of May 9th, AMDA has dispatched 11 doctors, 22 nurses, three pharmacists, 12 care workers, three physiologists, 12 coordinators and 14 acupuncturists.
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