Association of Medical Doctors of ASIA, founded in 1984, Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC since 1995








AMDA Emergency Relief #1: Flood Disaster in Saga (Kyushu), Japan

Publication date:2019-09-03
On 28 August 2019, AMDA dispatched two relief personnel (one coordinator and one nurse/coordinator) to flood-hit Saga Prefecture in southwest Japan to assess the local emergency needs on the ground.

Severe downpours which struck the Kyushu region in the southwest have caused landslides and flooding in the extensive areas especially in the north. According to a local news source, two people were found dead and 281 households have been evacuated in the town of Ohmachicho in Takeo City, Saga Prefecture (as of 1 September).

While the greater part of Ohmachicho has been under water, an oil leakage from a local steel plant wreaked havoc on local environment, affecting farmlands, roads and residential quarters. An expert says it is the worst oil leakage the country has ever experienced, calling the scale of the damage “unprecedented”.

29-31 August:
Prior to entering Ohmachicho, on the 29th AMDA personnel visited Samejima Hospital in Saga City, the prefectural capital, for information gathering. As the hospital has been AMDA’s collaborating partner in disaster relief, the hospital director gave updates on how affected areas had been coping with the ongoing situation. After that, AMDA personnel also took part in a meeting for medical teams at the prefectural disaster response headquarters.

On the 30th, one nurse from Nagasaki joined the team to visit Ohmachicho for a needs survey. Accompanied by a local health worker, the team went to two evacuation shelters set at a local welfare facility and a community center to determine the situation on the ground. The team helped clean up the facilities while referring one diarrhoea patient to a local hospital for further treatment. They also advised evacuees on how to ease their evacuation life by giving various tips.

Most of the people in the shelters were concerned about the uncertainties that surrounded them as there seemed to be no prospect of how their daily life could be reconstructed. Some said clearing debris would take a substantial amount of time which hampers them from returning home. Others said they were reluctant to leave the shelter in fear of possible landslides that could occur at any time.

On the same day, AMDA decided to send extra personnel (one nurse and two coordinators) to make up for the lack of manpower there.

On the 31st, besides carrying on with the clean-up and survey, AMDA took part in a general meeting held by the local authority in regards to further shelter management. Attended by aid workers from both public and private bodies, the meeting reached a consensus in which the assistance would be focusing on uplifting the living environment of the evacuees while gradually allowing them to become self-reliant.

In the meantime, it was decided that AMDA would mainly look after the people staying at “Ohmachicho General Welfare Health Center Misato”, a welfare facility which housed several evacuees with special medical needs. AMDA helped set cardboard beds with local volunteers and other aid givers.

The aforementioned hospital director of Samejima Hospital also visited the shelter accompanying his staff. They went around to see if there was anyone who needed medical assistance. As a result, a person who was losing consciousness was successfully transferred to a nearby hospital thanks to their help. The whole AMDA team worked until 10 o’clock in the evening.

1st September:
Two acupuncturists joined the mission. In line with the prolonged evacuation life (partly due to a mudslide that occurred on the day before), aid givers at the shelter jointly decided to make a personal record of evacuees to get a better grasp of their health conditions. The team was also helped by a group of student volunteers in making a poster for promoting a punctual life style within the shelter.

The acupuncture treatment was well received by the recipients especially in the midst of anxiety, stress and fatigue. One patient said her body ache was soothed by it and it made her feel so much better after that.

(Kindly stay tuned for more updates.)
    •  Emergency Relief
    •  Japan
    •  2019
    •  ER & Reconstruction