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【Emergency Message】 Regarding the Tohoku Pacific earthquake Message from the President(1)

March 15, 2011

I express my heartfelt condolences to the many victims of the Tohoku Pacific earthquake.
Since the earthquake we have received messages of concern and support from all over the country, from which all the staff have drawn strength and courage.
Despite being struck by an earthquake of historic scale, fortunately injuries and structural damage in inland areas were minimal, and Iwate Medical University is still able to fulfill its roles as a technologically advanced hospital, a core disaster hospital, and an advanced emergency medical service center.
However, as reported in the press and on television, coastal areas of Iwate have suffered catastrophic damage, with many people losing their lives, and even more being forced to seek refuge in evacuation centres.
Furthermore, the medical services are shifting their focus to the prevention of a secondary disaster, by moving beyond emergency medical treatment and onto the treatment of chronic illnesses in evacuation centres, and health and hygiene management. Through the Iwate Medical University Hospital Disaster Response Unit, we are doing our utmost to provide the disaster relief that is being requested, responding to each change in the situation of the medical services, offering medical treatment in evacuation centres, and offering support to regional hospitals.
Nevertheless, the most urgent problem at this time is the lack of fuel (gasoline, fuel oil) throughout the prefecture. This is starting to impact both the dispatching of medical teams and the maintenance of hospital functions. Furthermore, medications and medical supplies are lacking, and we are calling on the government to respond urgently and appropriately to the situation.
We at Iwate Medical University will do everything we can to contribute to a swift recovery from this unprecedented disaster, and I humbly call upon you all to make concerted efforts to offer your support to the fullest possible extent.

Akira Ogawa
President, Iwate Medical University