Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
Minami Soma City, Fukushima prefecture is located just north of the troubled nuclear power plant. This is the area hit by “double calamities” by both tsunami and the nuclear plant accident. A large part of the city is the area of mandatory evacuation, while another part is under the government control where people's life is severely restricted. As many medical facilities were closed and as the functions of hospitals are under restrictions, the supply of medical service is well short of the needs. There are some 23 temporary housing facilities for the capacity of some 1500 families as of now, and more are being built for additional 500 families. C3NP stated a telemedicine assistance to three of the facilities where respectively 81, 40, 127 families reside.
Kesennuma City, Miyagi pref. was the place with one of the most famous and largest fishing and fishery food-processing industries. Most of the ships and facilities were destroyed by the quake/tsunami. The total capacity of the temporary housing facilities is as of now some 3500. C3NP will start the support several of the facilities as soon as the reconstruction of internet is completed in a month or so.
Kamaishi City, Iwate pref. is also a city of fishermen and food-processing industry, where a large part of the fishery industry area was devastated. The total capacity of the temporary housing facilities is planned to be some 3000 families. C3NP started to talk with the city officials to support some of the temporary housing facilities.
Starting with these areas, C3NP will expand the activities to cover temporary housing facilities in other areas of the 3 devastated prefectures as we will obtain funds.
Tohoku district, which include these three prefectures has always been one of the areas with severe shortage of doctors and medical resources. Average number of doctors per 100 thousand residents in Japan is 132. Of the 23 medical districts for Tohoku area, the number of districts with above average per capita doctors is two and for 16 districts, the number is below 100. The situation was bad for the disaster stricken areas, and now it is said to be at the state of crisis.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
Ikuyo Kaneko (Deputy Representative of C3NP) graduated from a graduate school in the area of applied mathematics at Stanford University has been teaching and doing research in the fields of computer networks and mathematical optimization theory, teaching at University of Wisconsin-Madison and Hitotsubashi University. When the Great Kobe Quake occurred, he started Inver-V-net which is an information sharing network on the internet to connect quake victims and volunteers. Inter-V-net was then the network with the largest number of accessible users in Japan, and was the recipient of several awards. As Kaneko experienced that the information network and optimization theory actually help people in severe needs at the time of disaster, he changed his research fields from theory to practice. As Kaneko got involved with the Roundtable Board of Advisors to propose reforms of telemedicine, he and Kyoko Shibuya (Chief of Staff of C3NP) stared experimental projects of using telemedicine in several cities in Japan. One of the interesting effects is that the telemedicine project had an effect to forming intimate and active communities among the participants of the projects. It is estimated that a good part of the improvements is a result of participants help one another and get more interested in their health. As the 3.11 quake/tsunami hit Tohoku area, Kaneko and Shibuyaimmediately thought of utilizing the telemedicine to the victims of the disaster. Many doctors, nurses, and other health specialists, several telecommunication and medical supply companies offered cooperation.