About AMDA
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Association of Medical Doctors of Asia, in short AMDA, was established in 1984 by Dr. Shigeru Suganami, in Okayama, Japan.  Since then AMDA has grown in size and scope actively engaging in emergency relief as well as in integrated community development all over the world.

How it started

Dr. Shigeru Suganami was born on Dec. 29th, 1946, in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.   He graduated from Okayama University, Medical School in 1977 with Ph.D. in public health. 
In 1981 he set up his own clinic in Okayama-City, presently known as Asuka International Clinic. He is married to Dr. Tomoko Suganami, an otorhinolaryngologist and Vice-President of Asuka International Clinic.  A dedicated physician by profession, Dr. Shigeru Suganami is probably more known as the President of AMDA, Association of Medical Doctors of Asis, an avocation he has pursued since his younger days.

In the summer of 1963, Suganami experienced a memorable encounter with a picture from one of the World War II photo collections. In the striking picture a young solider lay dead on a beach, his head half buried in the sand.  Suganami, in his second year at senior high school at that time, stood motionless in front of the photo completely dismayed and shocked at the merciless and solitary death of a young man of his age It was just one casualty out of countless civilians and soldiers victimized by the War, but this encounter has become the root of his career as a medical doctor and  his avocation in humanitarian causes that consequently led to the formation of AMDA.  It was also this very picture which stirred his interest for Asia. 
The picture came from the collections of photos taken from World War II which involved many Asian countries as well as the South Sea Islands. During his fourth year at Okayama University Medical School, he embarked on a ten-month trip to South-East Asia and Middle East.  His first stop was Japan Leprosy Mission for Asia near Agra, India, where he received first-hand experience in international humanitarian efforts.  After the completion of his training he toured through 10 countries and was deeply impressed by the diversity and dynamism of these countries.  At the same time, the appalling sight of people in poverty and agony resulting from conflicts, natural disasters, and social system has been deeply embedded in his memory and remains so until this day.

In the years following his return from the trip, Suganami became engrossed in organizing medical expedition teams to Pagoda Farm located along River Kuwai, Thailand.  The teams, consisting of young Japanese medical professionals and others interested in humanitarian efforts, offered medical services to people on the farm.  It was also during this period Dr. Suganami realized the importance of traditional medicine that can be incorporated with the western medicine for more effective treatment.  He played pivotal role in several medical research missions in this field as well.

In 1979, Dr. Suganami, accompanied by two medical students, rushed to Thailand to extend a helping hand to Cambodian civil war refugees.  Despite their good intentions and enthusiasm, the sudden appearance of a young medical team from Japan was not met with welcoming arms.  The circumstances did not even allow them a single opportunity to work for the refugees.  Through this disappointing incident Dr. Suganami learned the importance of networking with various organizations and people in Asia for the purposes of gathering information and implementing humanitarian assistance. It dawned on him that if medical students in Asia were to join hands in humanitarian efforts, such network would present limitless opportunities.  Friendship and trust nurtured during school days of medical professionals may lead to effective coordination for future humanitarian efforts.  This thought has led to the formation of the Asian Medical Students Conference(AMSC) in 1980 followed by the inception of Association of Medical Doctors for Asia in 1984.  Later on the name changed to Association of Medical Doctors of Asia reflecting its growth of operation encompassing many countries outside Asia.

Events prior to the Formation of AMDA in 1984

Year Events
1969 10-Month Field Activities in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kuwait, Cambodia
1971 The First Dispatch of Okayama Medical School Kuwai River Mission Team
1972 The Second Dispatch of Okayama Medical School Kuwai River Mission Team
1973 The Third Dispatch of Okayama Medical School Kuwai River Mission Team
1974 The Establishment of Okayama Medical School Study Group for Asian Traditional Medicine
1975 The First Dispatch of Research Team for Asian Traditional Medicine/Thailand, India, Burma, Malaysia, Taiwan (26 Days) *The dispatch continued until seventh round
1977 The First Association of Medical Students of West Japan/Okayama, Japan
1978 The Second Association of Medical Students of West Japan/Okayama, Japan
1979 One Doctor and Two Medical Students from Association of Medical Students of West Japan Dispatched for the Relief Activities for Cambodian Refugees
1980 The First Conference of Medical Students of Asia (AMSC)/Thailand
1981 The Second Conference of Medical Students of Asia (AMSC)/Thailand
  AMSA Field Study Program started
  The First Asian Exchange Conference for Medical Students of East Japan
  The Establishment of Association of Medical Students of Asia (AMSA)
1982 The First Student Exchange Program/Japan-Thailand
  The Third International Conference of Asian Medical Students/Thailand
  AMSA Field Study Program/Thailand
1983 The Fourth International Conference of Asian Medical Students/Malaysia
  AMSA Field Study Program/Thailand, Malaysia
  The Fifth Conference of West Japan Medical Students
  The Second Student Exchange Program/Japan-Thailand
1984 The Fourth Asian Exchange Conference for Medical Students of East Japan
  The Third Student Exchange Program/Japan-Thailand
  The Fifth International Conference of Asian Medical Students
  AMSA Field Study Program/Thailand, Malaysia, India
  AMSA Summit Meeting/Japan

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