AmeriCares is airlifting medical aid to help survivors who are still suffering from the devastating strength 9 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. The shipment of medical supplies, medicines and personal hygiene products valued at more than $525,000 flew out of AmeriCares Connecticut warehouse on Saturday bound for Sendai â€“ the closest large city to the impact zone on the northeast coast of Japan.
Three weeks after the worst natural disaster in Japanese history, the situation on the ground remains dire. Nearly 175,000 people are still living in evacuation centers and many thousands more are living in cars or in homes with no electricity or running water. More than half of the hospitals in the Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures have reached full capacity and are unable to accept new patients, and 33 hospitals are not admitting patients due to a lack of medical resources and staff.
The AmeriCares shipment is expected to arrive in Japan on Monday. It includes more than 850,000 bandages and wound dressings, enough anesthesia to treat 2,000 patients, sutures for 2,500 procedures, plus antibiotics for acute bacterial infections, IV solutions, pain relievers, masks, syringes, gloves and hygiene kits. The aid will be delivered to Tohoku University Hospital in Sendai, a leading academic and clinical hospital in Japan that has been assisting regional hospitals and evacuation centers since the March 11 disaster.
AmeriCares had a team of relief workers on the ground in Japan within days of the disaster, assessing the immediate health needs of survivors and delivering aid to evacuees living in shelters in the hard-hit Miyagi prefecture.
AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization which delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in need around the world and across the United States. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $10 billion in humanitarian aid to 147 countries.
For more information, visit www.AmeriCares.org
Image by Kordian via Flickr.
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