Urgent Appeal from Nihon-Iroren (Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions)-Ver.2-
March 22, 2011
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On behalf of Japanese medical workers, we extend to you our message concerning the earthquake that hit northeastern Japan on Friday, 11th March 2011.
The earthquake measuring 9 on the Richter Scale, largest quake recorded in Japan, hit the Tohoku and Kanto regions of Japan. A countless number of lives and livelihood of local communities have been lost, and their social functions and economy have been devastated.
As of 21th March, the death toll has reached 8, 805, 18, 335people are still missing, and 306, 839people live in temporary shelters.
This unprecedented earthquake and the tsumami that exceeded 10 meters in hight have swept away many towns and villages. The explosions and release of radioactive substances at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant have added to the critical situation in the Tohoku region. In Minami-Sanriku town, one of the hardest hit municipalities in Miyagi prefecture, about 8,000 people of its population, a half of the total 16,500, are unaccounted for.
There are about 150 hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities in the six prefectures of Tohoku and one in Kanto where Nihon-Iroren members work. About 50 of them are located in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures which have suffered particularly seriously. Many of these healthcare institutions are unable to provide services because of the loss of access to the buildings due to physical damage. Outpatient sections, surgery theaters, dialysis rooms and inpatient wards have been destroyed and inundated. The supply of power, water and gas has been suspended. Medical supplies, oxygen, food, gasoline and heavy fuel oil are short. Staff members have no means to commute because many road and railways have been destroyed.
The Prefectural Takada Hospital and Prefectural Ofunato Hospital in Iwate, and Matsushima Medical Cooperative’s Naruseno-sato care facility in Miyagi have lost some of their staff members to the disaster. Futaba-Kosei Hospital in Fukushima is three kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and, since the imposition of the evacuation order, access to the hospital is prohibited. Some of its staff members and patients have been contaminated with radioactive substances.
Our union members are making all-out effort day and night in taking care of patients and affected people in these difficulties despite their own personal hardships and tragedies.
Nihon-Iroren, a federation of unions covering 165,000 workers in 1,100 medical institutions, formed the Disaster Response Committee on 11th March, headed by Chieko Tanaka, President. The officers and secretariat members have been staying in its office since then to provide support to our members.
We have been announcing appeals to our members in all parts of Japan and sending messages of encouragement to the leaders of our affiliated unions in the affected regions in the name of Nihon-Iroren President. The General Administration and Finance Department is collecting information by the telephone, fax and e-mail about most needed items and services in the affected areas. This information is forwarded to our members and other medical organizations and trade unions by the Education and Public Relations Department. The Organization Department is driving a fundraising and recruiting relief volunteers. The Mutual Aid Program Department is preparing for the payment of insurance benefits. We are working in coordination with other medical and trade union organizations through the General-Secretary and deploying union officers, secretaries, doctors, nurses and other medical and relief workers in the affected areas in cooperation with relevant medical organizations and management of hospitals.
The disaster-stricken areas are suffering from shortages of all kinds of supplies, in addition to aftershocks, snow and the cold. Some areas have been totally cut off from any relief activities since the earthquake and tsunami because many roads have become impassable. The nuclear accident has made the situation more difficult.
Now that one week has passed since the great earthquake, we, as medical workers, must do our utmost as our mission to save lives and provide material and psychological support to our members, their families, patients and members of their communities in the affected areas.
We greatly appreciate it if you could use the following bank account for donations to express sympathy with the victims and help them for earliest possible recovery
Bank name: MIZUHO BANK, LTD
Branch name: INARICHO BRANCH
Branch address: 5-1-5 HIGASHI-UENO, TAITO-KU, TOKYO, JAPAN
SWIFT code: MHBKJPJT
Account name: Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions, General Secretary, Aizawa Yukitoshi
Bank account number:090-1385403
Payee address: 1-9-5 Iriya, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0013 Japan
Payee telephone: +81-3-3875-5871
Payee fax: +81-3-3875-6270
Please contact us for further information at:
1-9-5 Iriya, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0013, Japan
Seishi Katsuragi, Vice-President firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Chikako Nakano, Central Executive Member firstname.lastname@example.org
Naho Shimada, Secretary email@example.com
Aiko Shingu, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
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