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In 1979 when the plight of Cambodian civil war refugees shocked the entire world, Dr. Suganami along with two medical students rushed to Thailand. They were driven by youthful enthusiasm and sense of commitment.

They simply wanted to offer medical assistance to these Cambodian refugees. But their good intentions were not welcomed and they were not even given a single chance to visit the refugees.

Through this disappointing incident Dr. Suganami learned the importance of networking with various organizations and people. Only by gathering all needed information from the affected region and only by cooperating with local as well as other organizations can an effective and timely assistance be implemented.

During his past trips to Asia and on other occasions, he had befriended many fellow medical students and professionals of several Asian countries.

He called upon them to form an organization that would enable them to take part in humanitarian actions. This was the beginning of our 
organisation, making of Disaster management International NGO.

AMSA 1980 



From AMDA International President, Dr. Shigeru Suganami


It all started with a photo taken during WWII. This memorable encounter with a single photo is the root of my career as a medical doctor and my life-long humanitarian work. It was a photo of a young solider lying dead on a beach, his body half buried in the water.

The merciless and solitary death of a young man evoked in me a feeling of despair and anger at human follies. The world is filled with ceaseless killing and hostilities. To break this chain of violence, I had to do my own share of work. My answer was humanitarian work through medicine.

Another turning point in my younger days was the 10-month trip in Asian countries which I took while I was at the Medical School. The diverse and dynamic power of these Asian countries simply overwhelmed me. At the same time I felt a strong sense of guilt and uneasiness toward the unjust deaths and sufferings inflicted on these fellow Asians by the Japanese military during WWII.

There is no turning back to the days of the past and undoing what went wrong. But I felt that each and every one of us living in today’s world all carry equal responsibility for the present. Thus it was a part of my obligations to Asian people and people of the world that I do everything possible in my power to create a peaceful world for today’s and future generations.

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