As part of a wider initiative, the Swiss Red Cross, Caritas Switzerland, Swiss Solidarity and the Japanese Red Cross Society, the JTI Foundation provided new furniture and equipment for the municipal hospital of Onagawa.
Miyagi prefecture was hit very hard by the earthquake and tsunami that struck 15 prefectures on March 11, 2011.
In the coastal town of Onagawa, some 10% of inhabitants lost their lives, leaving survivors to deal with severely damaged infrastructure and houses, and widespread disruption to public services.
Part of the efforts to revitalize the city included the reconstruction of Onagawa’s only hospital, one of 13 major health facilities in the district. Even though it was built high up on a hill and served as a designated tsunami evacuation site, it could not escape the havoc wreaked by the disaster.
The first phase of reconstruction began immediately after the catastrophe, with emergency repairs carried out to provide basic medical care in the devastated city.
Phase two entailed the demolition of those parts of the hospital that couldn’t be saved. It was then time for the repair or replacement of electrical installations, essential equipment and furniture. In addition, the temporary homes for the elderly established at the hospital immediately after the disaster, were converted into permanent nursing facilities for elderly patients.
As a result, the program greatly improved the quality of life and care not only for the elderly nearby, but also for the estimated 85,000 patients who visit the hospital annually.