AmeriCares presence in China followed a response to the massive quake. To assist in the recovery efforts, we delivered, built and equipped two state-of-the-art field hospitals, serving thousands of patients. In addition, we supplied ambulances for both hospitals.
Snapshot of China:
China’s rapid economic growth has come with an enormous investment in infrastructure, including health care. While a booming economy has lifted millions out of poverty, the country still faces significant health challenges, particularly from rapid urbanization and industrialization. The effects of natural disasters place significant stress on the health infrastructure of this nation of over one billion people.
On May 12, 2008, a devastating earthquake killed tens of thousands and brought buildings crashing down—including many hospitals in Sichuan Province. The 7.9-magnitude earthquake was the country’s worst disaster in 30 years.
The first of the field hospitals from AmeriCares in 2008 served a community of over 250,000 earthquake survivors and included inpatient, outpatient and emergency treatment, an operating room, laboratory services and a maternity ward. In the early aftermath of the disaster, the hospital averaged between 180-200 patients daily; in the first 30 days alone, 30 babies were born.
The second hospital opened in July 2008 and provided outpatient services to a community of 20,000, serving between 40 – 50 patients each day. Some of the more common illnesses treated were respiratory conditions, digestion and high blood pressure.
The China field hospitals are modeled after a similar facility AmeriCares built and equipped in Pakistan after an earthquake in 2005 destroyed the only health clinic in the Allai Valley. That hospital continued to serve patients for several years after the quake.
Recent News from China