Japan: MSF efforts continue

March 17, 2011

Japan: MSF efforts continue © JIJI PRESS

Wednesday March 16th

The team, now 12 people, reassembled and established an operational base in Tome, in northern Miyagi prefecture and spread into three groups.

One group of two people continued to work with local doctors in evacuation centres in Minami Sanriku, another team of two people went to Oshima Island, just off the coast where they worked in two evacuation centres. They were the first medical personnel to come to the island and saw around 40 patients most of whom had lost their medications for their chronic diseases.

The third team went further north into Miyagi prefecture, and assessed in Kesennuma town and found that national medical teams were present.

The majority of consultations were elderly patients with chronic diseases. Many of them were running out of medications for hypertension and diabetes. The weather in the area was bad overnight, with snow and sub zero temperatures and a few cases of hypothermia were seen, and some respiratory tract infections, possibly due to the crowded conditions in some of the evacuation centres.

MSF ordered 25,000 blankets from a supply base in Dubai that should arrive in the next few days.

Thursday March 17th

Two mobile teams continued to work in evacuation centres around Minami Sanriku and a third team returned to different areas around Kesennuma. A fourth team went further north to find new areas to work.

In Tokyo, the emergency coordination team worked on getting food donations for people in evacuation centres. In addition, they are trying to procure donations of water which can be taken by truck up to the affected area, as access is now better.

Another 5,000 blankets have been purchased in Tokyo and will be delivered by Sunday.

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