Japanese health care team offers advice for displaced Ukrainian families Japanese health care team offers advice for displaced Ukrainian families
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Japanese health care team offers advice for displaced Ukrainian families

    NHK World
    Correspondent
    NHK Nagano
    Correspondent
    A Japanese health care team has adapted an online advice portal to help Ukrainian families displaced by Russia's invasion. More than 10 million people have been forced to flee their homes – almost half of them children.

    The web page was initially designed to help people during disasters in Japan. Volunteers have translated it into Ukrainian and Polish.

    Many Ukrainian children and their caregivers are struggling with nutrition and hygiene amid dire conditions. Sakamoto Masahiko, a pediatrician involved in the project, felt compelled to act.

    Sakamoto Masahiko speaks to NHK

    "What's happening there isn't someone else's problem," he says. "After watching the unbelievable scenes, my biggest motivation was to ask myself, 'is there anything I can do?'"

    Sakamoto once studied in Poland, which neighbors Ukraine and is hosting the largest number of refugees. He now works at a hospital in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan.

    He says pediatricians should represent children's voices – even from thousands of kilometers away. "Please don't forget about them. I want many people to understand why it's important to help."

    Sakamoto in Poland, 2013
    Sakamoto spent four months studying at a university in Gdansk, northern Poland.

    The web page, entitled "To Caregivers, Parents and Children in Ukraine," offers all sorts of advice.

    Advice page
    The web page shows how to bathe children with just a small amount of hot water.

    One section shows how to keep children clean using just a towel wrung with hot water, and another dry one for wiping up. If there are none available, tissues can be used instead.

    The site also addresses mental health. It explains that children often demonstrate unusual behavior during troubling times. Some may try to come to terms with their situation through war-themed games.

    Breastfeeding advice
    Advice for breastfeeding women.

    Another section is for women who struggle with breastfeeding due to stress. There are five tips, such as talking with others, and maintaining skin contact between mother and baby.

    The website can be accessed at: https://cpc-ua.com/