Sunstar Foundation and Volkshilfe Provide Disaster Relief

24 January 2013

The Sunstar Foundation and Volkshilfe Austria have recently donated a mobile dental clinic unit to Miyagi Dentist Association and a mobile x-ray diagnostic unit to Souma City Health Center in Fukushima. The two organizations also gifted 1000 copies of oral health books published by the Sunstar Foundation and other books requested by 23 kindergartens in Ishinomaki, Miyagi.

Dr. Yoshihiro Honda, Sunstar Foundation Chairman, along with Dr. Josef Weidenholzer, Volkshilfe Austria Chairman, and other members involved attended the donation ceremonies in each prefecture.

This was not the first time these organizations have joined forces for a good cause. In 2011, together they donated a mobile dental clinic unit to Iwate prefecture, which helped resume home-visit dental treatments that had been suspended after the earthquake.

In Miyagi, January 19th 2013, at the donation ceremony for a mobile dental clinic unit and books, Dr. Honda stated, “This cooperation between Volkshilfe and Sunstar began two years ago. In November 2011, we donated a mobile dental clinic unit much like this one to Otsukishi, Iwate. Recovery from these disasters will continue to be difficult, but not only Volkshilfe and the Sunstar Foundation, but many in and outside Japan are supporting the victims of the disasters.”

Following the speech, Dr. Weidenholzer commented, “On the morning of March 11th two years ago, I woke up in Austria and learned the horrific news of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. I wanted to rush to the people in need right away. Our hearts, our thoughts have been with you all. We would like to thank the Sunstar Foundation for making it possible for us to deliver our support to you.”

To these messages, Dr. Yoshinori Hosoi, Chairman of Miyagi Dentist Association, responded, “Miyagi prefecture was hit hardest by the disasters, and we were in no state to offer dental treatments. Under such circumstances, we realized the importance of a mobile dental diagnostic unit as a part of emergency care.We would like to thank you for offering us this equipment that can be used for non-emergency home-visit treatments as well.”

On January 21 in Souma City Hall, a hand-over ceremony of the mobile x-ray unit and books took place.After speeches by Dr. Honda and Dr. Weidenholzer, the Mayor of Souma City Hidekiyo Tachiya remarked, “What we value most on the road to recovery is citizens’ health. We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for caring about us as if you were victims yourselves and for giving us this device to maintain our health.”

The mobile x-ray unit will be lent from Souma City to Souma Dentist Association free of charge and will be used for home visits to the elderly.

The children’s books will be distributed to the parents of children age 3 to 4 months at the time of health check-ups as part of a literacy program run by Souma City Library. In addition, Sunstar’s oral health books will be referenced at infant health check-ups and oral care seminars at Souma City Health Center.

Souma City Official Homepage (Japanese)