Germans set up mobile hospital

By Wang Xu (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-05-27 10:51

DUJIANGYAN, Sichuan -- "No needle! No needle!" cried Peng Qisi in a mobile hospital set up by the German Red Cross in Dujiangyan.

That was the immediate reaction of the 3-year-old girl when she was taken to the hospital for treatment for an injured finger.

At the time of Peng's injury, her mother, living in a nearby tent, was a bit worried as she knew most hospitals in the city were damaged in the earthquake.

But the sight of the Red Cross flag in front of the mobile hospital was a reminder to her that she should go there to seek help.

A German pediatrician, while sterilizing Peng's finger, asked about the family's situation, and how did the girl cut her finger.

Meanwhile, the local nurses were making notes about the patient and trying to decipher the English form.

The German Red Cross announced last week that it would present a mobile hospital to Sichuan. The hospital was transported to China in two cargo planes. A German team of 11 doctors and nurses also arrived to help out.

For the past three days, the team, together with local volunteers and medical staff from Shanghai, has been busy setting up tents and medical facilities. The mobile hospital can accommodate up to 120 patients and provide medical care for up to 250,000 people, the German Red Cross said.

Hospitals were among many buildings in Dujiangyan that collapsed during the earthquake.

The mobile hospital will operate until a new hospital can be built, and will mainly be used as an aftercare center. "They have excellent doctors and nurses here, but not a hospital. So we set up this hospital so that they can carry on with their normal work," German doctor Joachim Gardemann said.

The mobile hospital costs 1.3 million euros ($2.05 million), and the German staff will stay in China for three to five weeks. Gardemann said he had set up mobile hospitals before in places such as Iran and Sudan.

He said working with Chinese volunteers and doctors was a remarkable experience. "They are very devoted, and I am motivated working with them," he said.

The international community has continued to offer assistance to help survivors of the earthquake. So far, medical teams from Russia, Japan, Britain, Germany, Italy, Cuba and France have arrived in the affected areas.

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