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AmeriCares Establishing Transitional Field Hospital in Chile

  • May 18, 2010

Hospital to provide maternal and child health services

STAMFORD, CT — AmeriCares is delivering, building and equipping a 50-bed transitional field hospital in Chile as part of its ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake. The transitional hospital will be located near Angol Hospital, a 195-bed facility serving over 100,000 people in Malleco Province.  Angol Hospital was one of more than 20 hospitals destroyed, severely damaged or left operating with limited bed capacity by the February 27 earthquake.  To address the maternal and child health care needs of the hospital, AmeriCares will provide the field hospital, medicines, medical supplies and essential equipment thanks to a generous donation from the GE Foundation.

“This transitional hospital will directly benefit our patients, many of whom have to travel over 40 miles to receive medical services,” said Dr. Carlos Gonzales, Director of Angol Hospital. “We know that in many instances, sick people in our community are not seeking medical attention because the nearest hospital is so far away.  This project will be a great help in restoring our ability to provide the health services our people need.”

To highlight the need, hospital officials estimate that in the month of March alone, they treated over 1,500 pediatric patients and 640 pregnant women.

AmeriCares emergency response experts have been coordinating the delivery of medical assistance since the earthquake struck.  To date, AmeriCares has provided $600,000 worth of medical supplies, including bandages and masks to protect against dust and debris; personal hygiene items to prevent infection and disease; as well as flashlights and water containers to carry safe drinking water. Medicines, surgical supplies and disaster relief for survivors of the earthquake have also been provided. AmeriCares medical aid includes medicines to treat serious infections, gastrointestinal diseases and crush injuries, as well as surgical supplies such as sutures and scalpels.

“AmeriCares deliveries enable health care workers to perform medical treatments and provide basic supplies and personal hygiene items which are essential for improving the quality of life for Chileans trying to recover from the earthquake,” said Christoph Gorder, Vice President of Emergency Response for AmeriCares. “They will keep families and communities healthy as they rebuild their homes and their lives.”

Since 1989, AmeriCares has delivered over $16 million in medical aid and humanitarian assistance to Chile. In addition to recent earthquake relief in Chile, AmeriCares efforts have included shipments of disaster preparedness supplies, antibiotics, children’s medications and specialized medicines to treat people with hemophilia.

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