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Jpn Hosp. 2012 Jul;(31):63-9.

Report on support activity for the East Japan Great Earthquake (May 27-29, 2011).

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  • 1Yao Municipal Hospital 1-3-1, Ryuge-cho, Yao, Osaka 581-0069, Japan.

Abstract

The M9.0 great earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011 triggered a huge tsunami on the Pacific coast in the Tohoku region and caused enormous damage, resulting in 15,854 deaths and 3,276 missing persons (as of March 1, 2012, according to the Japanese National Police Agency). Presently, inhabitants in Fukushima Prefecture continue to live as refugees because of radiation contamination caused by explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plants. Immediately after the earthquake, DMATs (Disaster Medical Assistance Teams) went to the affected areas to begin relief operations. The Japan Medical Association then founded the JMAT (Japan Medical Association Team), an organization to take over DMAT activities. The purpose of JMAT is (1) to assist hospitals and clinics in affected areas with daily care and (2) to provide medical care in refuge and aid stations. The Osaka Medical Association was assigned to be in charge of medical support in Iwate Prefecture. For medical services, team activities are more effective than individual efforts. Therefore, JMAT is basically a team composed of one doctor, two nurses, and one clerical officer. The team of Yao Municipal Hospital consists of two doctors, two nurses, two pharmaceutical chemists, and two office clerks. It is 13,000 km each way from Osaka to Iwate, and it is an estimated 15 hours by road. Our initial schedule was five days and four nights, leaving Osaka on the afternoon of May 26 and heading for Iwate on a chartered bus, engaging in medical care from the morning of May 27 to 30, leaving Iwate on the morning of May 30 and returning to Osaka that evening. However, since Hanamaki Airport in the inland area of Iwate Prefecture became usable starting in mid-May, we arrived in Hanamaki City by air and used a large taxi from the airport. In accordance with the recovery of local medical institutions, the Osaka Medical Association JAMT dispatch was to be terminated by the end of May. As a result, our team's itinerary was reduced to three days and two nights, leaving on the morning of May 27 (by air), and returning to Osaka on the evening of May 29 (by air).

PMID:
22988740
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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