SDF medical team gets to work in Haiti

LEOGANE, Haiti (Kyodo) A Self-Defense Forces emergency medical team arrived Saturday in Haiti and began to treat survivors in the earthquake-ravaged Caribbean nation.

The first batch of 34 SDF personnel joined a civilian group, including members of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, that has been treating injured people at Leogane, a city about 40 km west of Port-au-Prince, for about a week in a makeshift tent.

“We want to expand the (treatment) facilities and provide detailed assistance,” the head of the SDF team, Col. Makoto Shirakawa, said.

The SDF is sending a total of 104 personnel, including doctors and liaison staff.

The team will determine the duration of its stay after gathering information on the ground.