(Portland, OR Apr 07, 2011) Medical Teams International President, Bas Vanderzalm, in Sendai, Japan today, reported that the agency would continue to support its partner, Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope (CRASH) with supplies, trauma training and a four-person emergency response team.
The team, which is composed of volunteers who are employed by Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, intends to leave next week from Portland, Ore.
“Never before have we had to consider radiation levels and nuclear risks in our disaster response efforts. That's one of the things that makes our response to this disaster so complicated,” Vanderzalm wrote from the field.
“With our help, our local partners will reach out and listen to adults who are living in the evacuation centers. They will care for the elderly who are alone and frightened.
“We'll also send volunteers from the U.S. to provide training in trauma counseling and emergency management techniques. Our volunteers will have to watch their distance from the Fukushimi nuclear power plant. I'm grateful for their willingness to serve,” Vanderzalm concluded.
Medical Teams International is shipping a fourth emergency health kit – with enough medicines and supplies to care for 10,000 people for three months –and four surgery kits-- from Holland to Tunisia on Saturday for distribution in western Libya.
With this shipment, the agency has sent medicines and supplies valued at more than $1.7 million to the country in the past several weeks to help save the lives of those caught in the crossfire of war.
At the request of the Red Crescent Society of Tunisia, a third shipment of supplies sent last week by Medical Teams International is being moved from Tunisia for distribution in western Libya to hospitals in Misrata. Heavy fighting there has taken a toll on civilians and hospitals have run out of supplies to treat those caught in the middle of the conflict.
Medical Teams International sent one team of doctors to Benghazi, Libya with supplies last month and is recruiting a second team of doctors to send in during April or May to help relieve doctors on the scene.