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AmeriCares Field Hospitals Critical to Recovery Efforts
One year ago, China’s 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. AmeriCares assisted the recovery efforts by delivering, building and equipping two state-of-the art field hospitals. One of the hospitals serves a community of over 250,000 and includes inpatient, outpatient and emergency treatment, an operating room, laboratory services and a maternity ward. The hospital averages between 180-200 patients daily since opening in June 2008; in the first 30 days alone, 30 babies were born.
The second hospital opened in July 2008 and provides outpatient services to the community of 20,000, serving between 40 – 50 patients each day. Some of the more common illnesses the medical staff treats are respiratory conditions, digestion and high blood pressure. In addition to the two field hospitals, AmeriCares purchased ambulances for both hospitals.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be back witnessing the critical role AmeriCares is playing in the recovery process – and even more inspiring knowing our hospitals will continue to aid the people of China in the months and years ahead,” said Michael Chang, a member of AmeriCares emergency response team in China, who recently returned to report on the progress of both hospitals. Read Michael Chang’s Voices from the Field.
One of the country’s worst natural disasters, the earthquake continues to haunt the millions of affected people. Lives throughout the region are still being rebuilt as residents try to restore some order out of the chaos wrought by the quake.
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. The hospital continues to treat patients and is expected to remain in operation until construction of a new hospital is complete.