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AmeriCares is constructing and equipping its second field hospital in China’s Sichuan Province this week, expanding its efforts to provide relief for people suffering in the wake of the 7.9 magnitude earthquake which struck in May.
The work on this facility, already underway, follows the recent opening of a 16-bed field hospital in Qingchuan, which AmeriCares delivered in mid-June. This semi-permanent facility, staffed by local Chinese doctors, is now providing primary care visits for up to 150 people per day, and has treated 50 people on an inpatient basis in its first few weeks of operation. Among them were the mothers of two new babies who were safely delivered at the hospital. Prior to the opening of this 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 new field hospital is being erected in Wenchuan County, the epicenter of the quake, where approximately 35,000 people alone were injured. Built on the site of the devastated Xuankou Township Hospital, the new facility is expected to provide services for anywhere between 80 and 200 patients daily. It features 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.
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