Perspective from Japan: Children and disasters

rco_blog_img_homma Dr. Hiroaki Homma is the Medical Director of the Miyagi Comprehensive Children’s Center in Japan and an expert on the effects of disasters on children, schools and communities. He spoke Wednesday at the American Red Cross of Massachusetts about children and disasters.

Responding to the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, Dr. Homma leads a team that is providing treatment, outreach and training to children, parents, schools and professionals in the impacted prefectures of Fukushima, Iwate & Miyagi.

Dr. Homma noted stark statistics for the Miyagi Prefecture in particular, where students were about to be dismissed from school on the day of the earthquake. Many experienced the earthquake itself and then witnessed the effects of the tsunami, which washed away teachers, classmates and in some cases, parents waiting to pick up children from school.

Dr. Homma’s team provided psychological first aid in the tsunami’s aftermath and continues to work in these communities.

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