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Chinese medical workers join WHO aid team
By Zhang Feng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-05 01:02

The World Health Organization (WHO) has invited four Chinese public health experts to join rescue missions.

Liang Guodong, Kan Biao, Liu Qiyong, and Li Xinwu from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are all specialists in infectious diseases.

"They have all been selected by us according to the strict requirements of the WHO, and are now waiting for orders to leave," said Xing Jun, an official of the International Co-operation Department of the Ministry of Health.

This is the first time Chinese public health experts have been invited by the world health body to help out with international emergency medical aid in other countries, Xing said.

"I have no idea about where and when we will go and am just waiting for further information," said Liang Guodong. Liang was echoed by Julie Hall, leading expert of WHO Beijing Office, who said the WHO had a global network of experts from member countries who provide medical aid in various regions.

"The Chinese experts have a lot of valuable lessons and knowledge to share with the world in preventing infectious diseases after natural disasters, which are quite frequent in the country," she said.

The most urgent needs were for fresh water, food, sanitation and basic medical care, Hall said.

Chinese experts are experienced in dealing without breaks," said Liu Qiyong.

He said he usually spent six months a year working to prevent infectious diseases in places with different climates and geographical conditions.

Although still unaware of exactly what the Chinese experts would be asked to do, Liu said they would share their knowledge of infectious disease prevention with local authorities.

The WHO has mobilized teams of experts to work with the relevant countries to assess the most urgent health needs and to ensure that they are met as rapidly as possible, said WHO Director-General Lee Jong-wook.

At least 300,000 people are in urgent need of medical care, the WHO says.

In another development, a Chinese rescue team that arrived in Banda Aceh on Friday has been busy treating the survivors.

Pregnant woman Rosuwat was just one they have helped.

Suffering from edema, she and her fetus were saved by the medics. "We trust Chinese doctors as they have been very kind to us," said Rosuawat's brother.

One hospital in a suburb of Banda Aceh has been completely paralyzed with doctors and nurses either killed or are missing. Medical aid is badly needed there.

A team of six Chinese doctors have been giving treatment there to more than 200 patients a day.

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