Briefing Session on Haitian Earthquake Relief Efforts Held at Rissho Kosei-kai Headquarters
The Rissho Kosei-kai Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace and the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), a nonprofit Japanese NGO, jointly held a briefing session on January 20 on the results of emergency relief for victims of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. The briefing was held in Taisei Hall at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters in Tokyo. Some 80 people attended, including Rissho Kosei-kai members. The briefing was also an occasion to welcome two guests from Haiti: Dr. Mac Keven Frederic, an AMDA liaison officer in Haiti, and Ms. Gaelle Eznard, an earthquake victim who received an artificial leg from AMDA.
It is reported that the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, affected some three million people and killed about 230,000. Soon after the earthquake, AMDA provided support activities in the country, including three months' of medical treatment. A grant of 3.5 million Japanese yen from the Fund for Peace helped finance the AMDA's support activities.
Following the opening address by Rev. Waichi Hoshina, general secretary of the Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace, Ms. Tae Namba, counselor of the AMDA president's office for international affairs, described the organizations' activities in Haiti during the three months following the earthquake as well as their current activities, including the prosthetic program.
Mr. Naoki Yao, manager of the AMDA Prosthetic Program, reported that some 4,000 injured earthquake victims lost their hands and legs due to the collapse of buildings or needed to have them amputated, resulting in a high demand for prostheses. He also explained the AMDA program that provides artificial legs and rehabilitative assistance to 42 people who cannot afford medical treatment.
Dr. Frederic explained AMDA's future relief plans, including treatment for cholera patients and the establishment of an AMDA subsidiary office in Haiti.
Ms. Eznard then thanked AMDA for its relief of earthquake victims and said the artificial leg she received from AMDA gave her hope for the future.
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