Japan will send its third team of doctors to the central Philippines that was struck by the disastrous Haiyan typhoon on November 8.The new medical team will leave on Friday to relieve Japanese medical personnel already working there, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The third Japan Disaster Relief medical team will take the tasks done by the second JDR team, engaging in medical relief activities in Tacloban city.
The second team arrived in Tacloban on November 20 to take over the duties of the first team, according to Kyodo news agency. It included doctors, nurses, pharmacists, cardiologists and medical technicians. The outfit is able to provide medicine and carry out minor surgery.
The first two teams have attended to over 1,500 patients in the last two weeks, the ministry said. Their work is part of a large international aid effort to reach the estimated 13 million people affected by one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.
Around 2.5 million people still “urgently” need food, the United States said last week. “The Philippines helped us during our hour of need in the tsunami,” said Joji Tomioka, coordinator of the Japan Medical Team for Disaster Relief at a medical clinic put up by Japan in Tacloban, referring to the disaster that hit Japan in 2011 and that killed around 18,000 people. “Now it is our turn to give back.”