Japan quake: MSF mobile teams work in Miyagi prefecture providing medication for chronic disease patients

March 16

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 Minamisanriku, 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 group 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.

25,000 blankets will be sent from MSF supply base in Dubai and will arrive in the next few days.

March 17

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

MSF emergency coordination team in Tokyo 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.
* At present we are not requesting donations specifically for our work in Japan. Why?