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Chinese medical team busy treating Aceh patients
Updated: 2005-01-05 14:26

Walking along the streets of Banda Aceh, capital of the Indonesian province of Aceh, people have to cover their mouths and noses with masks to avoid the stench in the air.

The 35-member Chinese rescue team, which arrived in Banda Aceh last Friday, has been busy with treating the survivors of the most devastating tsunami in 40 years. About 150,000 people were killed across Southeast and South Asia.

Rosuawat, a pregnant woman, was suffering edema. She was sent to the Chinese doctors by her relatives. "We trust Chinese doctors as they are very kind to us," said Rosuawat's brother, who smiled after hearing his sister and the fetus are in good conditions.

Over 94,000 people were reported killed in Aceh - a province of about 4 million at the northern tip of the island of Sumatra - making up two thirds of the total known toll from the Indian Ocean disaster.

Nearly 400,000 people were made homeless in Aceh, said the Indonesian Health Ministry.

Thirty-five-year-old Hasannddi came to the hospital in the town of Kota Jautho in the early morning, waiting for the arrival of Chinese doctors. Both his wife and son were killed by the tsunami, and he was also seriously injured in the leg.

After being treated by Dr Cai Xiaojun, Hasannddi said, "I'm very lucky to have professional treatment, which gives me less pain. I'm glad China has sent so many good doctors."

A hospital in a suburb of Banda Aceh was totally paralyzed as doctors and nurses were either killed by the tsunami or went missing. Medical aid is badly needed in that area.

A team made up of six Chinese doctors went there. They gave treatment to more than 200 patients a day.

Looking at the Chinese doctors, 15-year-old Pirda, who lost one uncle and one aunt, said, "I thank you. You not only give me medicines but also biscuits."

After treatment, Pirda and her friends surrounded one of female Chinese doctors, asking her to teach them how to say in Chinese "I love you, China."

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