MSF teams spread to new areas throughout the earthquake zone
The MSF team, now made up of 12 people, reassembled and established an operational base in Tome, in northern Miyagi prefecture and have formed into a number of working groups.
One group of two continued to work with local doctors in evacuation centres in Minami Sanriku. A second team of two went to Oshima Island, just off the coast to work in two evacuation centres. They were the first medical personnel to come to the island and saw around 40 patients most of whom had lost their medications for their chronic diseases.
The third team went further north into Miyagi prefecture, and assessed in Kesennuma town and found that national medical teams were present.
The majority of consultations were elderly patients with chronic diseases. Many of them were running out of medications for hypertension and diabetes. Overnight, the weather in the area was poor, with snow and sub-zero temperatures. A few hyperthermia cases were seen, as well as some respiratory tract infections, possibly due to the crowded conditions in some of the evacuation centres.
On Thursday March 17 (local time), two mobile teams continued to work in evacuation centres around Minami Sanriku and a third team returned to different areas around Kesennuma. A fourth team went further north to find new areas to work.
MSF has ordered 25,000 blankets from a supply base in Dubai that should arrive in the next few days.
Another 5,000 blankets have been purchased in Tokyo and will be delivered by Sunday.