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








AMDA Emergency Relief #9: Flood Disaster in Kyushu, Japan

Publication date:2020-07-21
On 19 July 2020, AMDA’s relief team which had been working at Dai-ichi Junior High School, an evacuation shelter in flood-struck Hitoyoshi City, Kumamoto Prefecture completed its relief work and handed over the activities to the municipal government and its relevant organizations. Starting on the 8th earlier this month, AMDA had been engaged in various tasks which included providing health-related consultations and treatment, managing evacuee information, as well as offering acupuncture and judo therapy (bone setting).

Whereas, the other half of the team, which was sent to the nearby Sagaramura village, will remain in the locality to carry on with the ongoing relief work. 

1. Dai-ichi Junior High School (Hitoyoshi City)

Prior to ending the well-appreciated acupuncture and judo therapy, AMDA personnel put up notices in the shelter to let the evacuees know that the 19th would the last day to offer the services. The treatment was offered until noon on the final day which saw seven patients in total, of which three of them came in for acupuncture and the rest dropping in for the bone setting. As all of them had been regular visitors, they said their physical conditions improved and could sleep well at night thanks to the cure. AMDA therapists, too, felt the tangible outcome themselves.

For those patients who wished to receive similar treatment after the team left, AMDA personnel handed out a list of local acupuncture and judo therapy clinics. The list was compiled with the help of the local masseur association. AMDA therapists also gave the patients some self-care tips such as taping methods and stretching exercises.

Before leaving the shelter, the team reported its activities to the said association and donated disinfectants and other supplies which could be of use at local acupuncture clinics. A cumulative total number of patients for each of AMDA’s services is as follows:

Judo therapy (since 11 July): 64
Acupuncture (since 15 July): 21 

2. Supporting community health workers in Sagaramura

AMDA’s relief personnel in the Sagaramura village have been continuously engaged in home-visits to assess the residents’ current conditions with the local health workers. Throughout the 16th, 17th, and 20th, the joint team covered a reasonable number of households each day. On the 16th alone, the team managed to interview 14 families. The personnel also carried with them face masks, ORS and cleaning cloths to be provided to the residents which could be of use during their clearing work amid the hot weather.

Findings from the home-visits revealed that their clearing work had overcome its peak as it had already been two weeks since the flood struck. The inundation was kept below the floor level and this allowed most of the residents to take shelter in their homes. Now, they are mainly clearing the mess in their storage and barns that were affected by the flood water. While phone lines have been still down in some areas, many farmers are concerned about how to make ends meet since their tobacco fields, their main source of income, were badly damaged.

Although there are two facilities that are used as evacuation shelters in the village, they seemed to be well maintained overall in which evacuees are working hand in hand to take care of daily meals and cleaning, not to mention having ample stocks of supplies to rely on. The team also learned that government-led JRAT (Japan Disaster Rehabilitation Assistance Team) paid a visit to these facilities for the disaster assessment. 

As for the health conditions of the residents, none seemed to have been in ill health. However, AMDA personnel shared their findings with local health officials whenever they came across elderly residents who had been inactive due to the prolonged aftermath, or those who were unsure of where to seek medical assistance.

The joint team is expected to continue the home-visits on the 21st, hoping to cover households that are yet to be visited.

(Further updates will follow.) 
    •  GPSP Medical Mission (Promotion of Health)
    •  Japan
    •  2020
    •  ER & Reconstruction
    •  GPSP