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AmeriCares Delivers Second Field Hospital to China

  • July 1, 2008

Continuing its efforts to provide relief for people living in the earthquake-stricken region of China’s Sichuan Province, AmeriCares will deliver, construct and equip a second field hospital this month.

This new donation follows the recent opening of a 16-bed field hospital in Qingchuan, which was delivered by AmeriCares in mid-June. This semi-permanent facility, staffed by local Chinese doctors, is now treating patients near the site of the former Qingchuan Hospital, which was damaged beyond use following the May 12 earthquake. Prior to the opening of the new field hospital, doctors were treating patients in temporary structures and could not provide inpatient services, so many people had to be referred to the nearest hospital, more than three hours away.

The second field hospital will be delivered to Wenchuan County, the epicenter of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake. More than 16,000 people were killed here, and approximately 35,000 were injured. The new field hospital will be erected on the site of the former Xuankou Township Hospital, which is now unusable due to severe structural damage. Currently, medical personnel are working out of a collection of tents on the site, seeing anywhere between 80 and 200 patients daily. The new facility will include operating and emergency rooms, a laboratory, radiology unit and a patient ward.

“It will take many years for the people, infrastructure and landscape of China to fully recover from the destruction created by the recent earthquake,” said Curt Welling, president and CEO of AmeriCares. “Our staff and partners on the ground in China are working tirelessly to support the initial recovery efforts and to develop plans for the ongoing health care needs in the affected regions. We are very proud to deliver and equip a second field hospital, which will be instrumental in providing long-term care to the victims of this devastating disaster.”

The provision of these two field hospitals is part of AmeriCares comprehensive response to the China earthquake, including an initial emergency shipment of medicines, medical supplies and blankets, which arrived May 22. Millions of people in Sichuan Province were left homeless in the aftermath of the country’s worst natural disaster in 30 years, and estimates have placed the number of dead and missing at 87,000.