Follow-up Assessment II: Chile Earthquake Emergency Relief
AMDA recently conducted its second follow-up assessment for Chile Earthquake occurred in February, 2010. In response to the catastrophic quake, AMDA dispatched a joint relief team to Talca and Constitucion, both located in the most devastated Maule Region. While engaged in mobile distribution of relief goods, the team conducted health/hygiene guidance for infants and children which later developed into a consolidated infant health project.
The first follow-up assessment held in June (three months after AMDA's withdrawal) revealed that while more temporal shelters were built for the victims, basic infrastructure was not yet recovered. The evacuees looked fatigued from their prolonged evacuation life and were seeking hope in earliest possible recovery.
This time, AMDA worked closely with its collaborators in Chile from the stage of preparation and achieved a fruitful outcome that gave future prospect in many ways.
On Oct. 2nd, AMDA staff from Japan headed to Constitucion with the party from the medical department of UCM (Universidad Catrica Maule). By involving the students from UCM, the trip to Constitucion had a bi-fold purpose in both helping the victims of the disaster as well as providing the medical students with the opportunities to learn about primary medicine and regional health training which are not part of their curriculum.
The life in the coastal area remained tough as the residents were still forced to live under dreadful circumstances. For those who are living in temporal shelters, even portable baths and toilets were insufficient as they could only fulfill a half of what is needed.
After arriving in Constitucion, a group of first and third-year students visited the makeshift camps outside CESFAM Cerro Alto, the clinic which AMDA used as a hub in the earlier emergency relief, as well as impoverished villages in the neighboring area. They visited households with children under twelve years old to conduct health guidance, and emphasized the importance of hygiene practices using the handmade pamphlets they prepared.
Besides examining the patients, a group of fifth and sixth-year students stayed at CESFAM Cerro Alto and gave a lecture on health education. Provoked by this experience, UCM is eager to establish a curriculum pertaining to primary medicine, and is seeking to continue this training further.
During the courtesy visit to the city mayor of Constitucion, the mayor was well informed of AMDA's activities and was appreciative of AMDA's efforts as assistance from other foreign organizations was scarce.