JMA Disaster Headquarters Status Reports

21:00, March 16, 2011

There has been a flood of inquiries concerning the Japan Medical Association Teams (JMATs) that were formed yesterday. We have received registrations from the medical associations as well as from individuals.

Since March 16, reports have continued to come in that JMATs have arrived in the affected prefectures. Although the locations for which aid is to be provided are Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures, assistance from other prefectures has been becoming limited regarding postmortem examinations because they already require special judgment. Duties have been mainly doing rounds and providing medical care at evacuation centers and first-aid stations.

The contract concerning compensation for secondary disasters during JMAT activities has today been officially completed. Physicians who are heading to a disaster-stricken prefecture to carry out aid activities are requested to submit a statement of your participation in JMAT to the prefectural medical association with the prescribed form. Non-members will also be eligible for compensation if they submit the form for JMAT activities to the prefectural medical association.

Press Conference
An emergency press conference was held at the JMA at 13:00 today, and we gave reports to TV channels and newspapers, concerning the current situation in the affected areas.

Amongst these were reports relating to the situation in Iwaki City, Fukushima from a JMAT-participating doctor who has been working on the scene. He concerned the difficult situation of evacuees and the medical care activities being carried at evacuation centers. It was emphasized that as the rescue supply such as food, drinking water and gasoline had stopped, the lives and health of evacuees would be threatened unless the flow of goods was first secured by opening up the expressways.

Shortage of Food and Gasoline
The affected prefectures report that as obtaining goods have already become impossible, they cannot secure sufficient food or accommodation for aid doctors. As supplies of gasoline have also dried up, Iwate says that it has become impossible to transport teams that have come to offer aid to the actual locations, and that there is no alternative but to limit the postmortem examination teams and medical aid teams. For this reason, we ask doctors who are going to offer aid to be prepared for this and make their journey as self-sufficient as possible. It will be even more effective to contact the affected prefectures before departure and transport the goods that those prefectures require.

An explosion occurred at reactor 4 of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. However, as the highest measurement results on March 15 in Iwaki City within the evacuation zone were of 24 microsieverts, there are almost no harmful effects to the human body.

Checklist & Triage Card
As far as we know, evacuation centers in the 4 prefectures number 2,315, and the number of evacuees stands at 369,000. At evacuation centers, health check and management are important, and we have created "Evacuation Center Checklist" and "Evacuation Center Triage Guide" to ensure that nothing is missed when doing rounds.

In rounds at the evacuation centers, there are many patients who were receiving treatment for high blood pressure, various chronic conditions, cancer, pain relief and so on, but treatment has been stopped due to the disaster. As far as possible, efforts must be made to ensure suitable treatment for them.

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