December 19, 2020 - January 8, 2021, ARROWS dispatched six staff members (doctors, nurses, and coordinators) to two hospitals and two welfare facilities with COVID-19 cases in three Hiroshima cities.
Over three weeks, including the new year holiday, the staff members were dispatched to each facility upon request. Please take a moment to read about their activities reported by Fukuro Kakizawa, project coordinator (A-PAD/Civic Force). Fukuro was sent to three facilities from December 29, 2020 to January 3, 2021.
How ARROWS Helps Medical Facilities
A series of in-facility COVID-19 outbreaks were reported at medical facilities in Hiroshima Prefecture in mid-December, 2020. Hiroshima became the country's fourth highest prefecture with new cases per population. Peace Winds Japan, a member of ARROWS based in Hiroshima, received assistance requests from medical facilities affected by COVID-19 cases.
At one of the medical facilities, two doctors first directed zoning floors based on risk levels and demonstrated how to wear and take off personal protective equipment. The team then continued assisting the frontline doctors and nurses who were working tirelessly.
What Non-Medical Professionals Can Do to Help
Non-medical staff members were deployed along with the doctors and nurses - coordinators assisted with zoning, cleaning, and sterilizing the facilities. I worked alongside a nurse who was in charge of inventory control and assisted with refilling and organizing medical supplies. During the new year holiday, municipal office workers also worked without taking any time off and ARROWS assisted the municipal workers in preparing reporting documents.
In the spring of 2020, ARROWS deployed to a cruise ship in Nagasaki that was experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks among its crew. Building on this experience, the team was able to provide assistance activities despite infection risks.
Supporting Frontline Health Care Providers
Many staff members at these facilities were working day and night - a nurse who were working with few breaks for nearly three weeks, those who could not see their loved ones during the holiday season. Not only did ARROWS provide medical assistance, but we also provided emotional support and searched for solutions to various social issues.
ARROWS will continue supporting frontline health care providers.
Click on the link below to read an interview with ARROWS' Project Leader, Dr. Mototaka Inaba (written in Japanese).