Thanks to the generous donations made through The Kamakura Print Collection to the Japan Red Cross, we have been able to assist with the JRC’s continuing humanitarian work following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The JRC’s mobile medical teams provide essential help where the normal public health facilities were destroyed by the tsunami, and public health services are not yet functioning. From the Japan Red Cross website:
Dr Yasuo Fujita, Director of the Emergency and Critical Care Centre at Akita’s Red Cross hospital, puts it more strongly than that. Having organized response in some of the worst-hit corners of Iwate, he says, ‘The people with the biggest problems are in their own homes, cut off from care because it isn’t round the corner any more. You need a car to reach the nearest hospital. It’s why our mobile teams are so needed.’…
A woman is shown into the busy room where Dr Yoichiro Tanaka has found a space between some packing cases. She’s in her eighties and has problems with her back.
‘When did you last see a doctor?’ he asks.
‘Oh… well…I had an appointment with a doctor the day of the tsunami. I was supposed to go to the hospital.’
The doctor looks up, and waits for her to continue.
‘Well,’ she says, ‘the tsunami destroyed the place.’
The Japan Red Cross has: 47 branches, each with a stock of relief items, 92 Red Cross hospitals, 66 Blood centers; 26 nursing colleges, 60,000 permanent staff (50,000 working for Red Cross hospitals), 495 deployable medical teams; 2 million registered volunteers.
The Japan Red Cross is now accepting donations via PayPal here, which can be made without incurring the usual international banking fees of $50 or more per transfer. From a PayPal account, donations to the Japan Red Cross may be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
The work of recovery and reconstruction will continue for a long time to come. Miyagi Prefecture (which includes Sendai) summarizes its plans as follows:
30,000 temporary houses for disaster victims.
Prompt restoration of public facilities and lifeline utilities — roads, ports, waterways, coastal areas, airport, railways, water and sewage systems, electricity, gas, communications.
Recovery or restoration of local government offices, documents, and information systems.
Clearance of rubble left by the tsunami, estimated to take three years.
Reconstruction of schools, including nursery schools, elementary, junior, and high schools.
Restoration of hospitals, clinics, sanitation, and welfare facilities.
Securing employment and living expenses for disaster victims and recent graduates.
Financial support during recovery of agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries and related distribution.
Operating capital for restoration of local commerce and industry.
Upgrading disaster planning, radiation monitoring, and law enforcement.
Alternate sites for the coastal towns of Kesennuma, Minamisanriku, Ishinomaki, Onagawa, Higashi Matsushima, Matsushima, Rifu, Shigoama, Tagajo, Shichigahama, Natori, Iwanuma, Watari, and Yamoto.