Japan: Activities to Support Comfortable Home Care

AAR is Sending Power Generators and Foot-operated Sputum Aspirators to Children with Disabilities.

Power outage is a life-threatening issue for persons with disabilities who use ventilators or sputum aspirators in their daily lives. After the massive blackout resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake, many people rushed to hospitals for power generators or used car batteries in order to obtain electricity for their life-sustaining apparatuses.

To prevent these situations, AAR Japan is distributing foot-operated sputum aspirators which need no electricity to operate and household power generators to families with children with disabilities.

September 12, 2012 – “We don’t need to worry about battery charge anymore,” Mr. Noboru TOZUKA and his mother, who received the sputum aspirator, said.

This equipment is distributed to recipients through medical facilities. On September 12, Mr. Noboru TOZUKA, a 16-year-old boy with severe cerebral palsy, received a foot-operated sputum aspirator at Miyazaki Takuto Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, a medical center for children with disabilities in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. His mother said, “The power outage lasted for a week after the earthquake, but no hospitals, including one in the neighborhood, accepted us. The power generator we received today does not require electricity so we don’t have to worry about its charge even when a disaster occurs and it is also useful when we go out.”

Dr. Soichiro TANAKA (University of Tohoku pediatrician), who is cooperating with the project says, “soon after the earthquake, the batteries for household ventilators were out of charge and it was also difficult to contact hospitals. There are many things that I encourage families who care for children with disabilities at home to do, such as preparing medical goods and cooperating with local communities as well as preparing electricity-free apparatuses and power generators. I would like to send this message to many people through the project.”

AAR has sent 202 power generators and 282 foot-operated sputum aspirators to Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefecture from October 2011 through November 2012.

September 12, 2012 – We delivered a sputum aspirator to the Takuto Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation Center. On the right is Dr. Soichiro TANAKA, who cooperated in the project, and on the left is Izumi OTAKA from AAR Japan’s Sendai office.

This program has been implemented thanks to a grant from Action Medeor (Germany) and donations funded through “Easy Donation” by Softbank Mobile Communication, as well as your warm contributions.

Ms. Izumi OTAKA, Sendai Office
Joined the AAR Sendai Office in July 2011. Before working as an AAR staff, she worked in a private company after graduating from a vocational college. Her experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake in Sendai motivated her to participate in assisting disaster victims.