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Field Hospitals Making a Difference in China

  • August 12, 2008

“There would be no inpatients if not for the AmeriCares hospital,” a doctor at the Qingchuan facility told AmeriCares relief workers a few weeks ago. The opening of the facility has enabled this doctor and his colleagues to treat between 200–300 inpatients within the hospital’s first four weeks of operation. Residents of China’s Sichuan Province are still facing many obstacles as they recover from the deadly 7.9-magnitude earthquake of May 12, but worries about health care and medical treatment have receded since the opening of two AmeriCares field hospitals in the area.

Staffed by a team of local medical professionals, the hospital in Qingchuan has treated over 1,000 people on an outpatient basis since its June 24th opening, averaging about 130 people daily. In addition, it has treated between 200 and 300 people on an inpatient basis, who are mainly pregnant women and individuals recovering from surgeries. Fifty surgeries have been completed in the first month, and 30 babies have been delivered.

The second AmeriCares field hospital opened for outpatient visits in late July in Wenchuan County. Wenchuan was the epicenter of the May 12 quake, where approximately 35,000 people alone were injured. The new field hospital, situated on the site of the devastated Xuankou Township Hospital, will provide services for anywhere between 80 and 200 patients daily. Both facilities feature operating and emergency rooms, a laboratory and maternity ward.

“The people in Wenchuan and Qingchuan are remarkably resilient, but the day-to-day living experience is still difficult here,” says Hoyer, who has been in China since May 17, five days after the earthquake. “By helping to meet the health care needs of these two communities, AmeriCares is supporting thousands of people as they continue the recovery process.”

Millions of people in Sichuan Province were left homeless in the aftermath of the May earthquake, the country’s worst natural disaster in 30 years.  Estimates have placed the number of dead and missing at 87,000. 

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