WHO Praises China's Health Response to Earthquake

2008-06-10 12:12 1790

BEIJING and MANILA, June 10 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) have returned from visiting areas affected by the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan, China. Based on the visit and continued monitoring of the situation through contacts with counterparts and other UN agencies, the WHO has concluded that China's health emergency response was quick, effective and well organised.

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"The effectiveness of the response was especially commendable considering the number of people affected and the extent of the damage," said Dr Hans Troedsson, WHO's Representative in China.

"In particular, I would underline the high level of dedication and volunteerism evident in the medical professionals we met," said Dr Troedsson.

Dr Troedsson was accompanied by two WHO China representatives and a member of the emergency response team from regional headquarters in Manila. The visit was coordinated by China's Ministry of Health and local health officials. Facilities visited included several hospitals and a temporary settlement in Mianzhu City, a county-level city in Deyang prefecture, as well as the Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital in Chengdu.

The team held further meetings with senior officials from China's Ministry of Health, including Vice-Minister Chen Xiaohong, with whom they discussed their findings from the field visit, and future collaboration between the ministry and WHO.

In particular, the China's Ministry of Health reaffirmed a previous request for the WHO to provide expert assistance to support reconstruction of the healthcare system, and essential medical equipment and supplies.

A second team of WHO experts will be in China June 11 to 23. The team will provide a set of recommendations on rebuilding healthcare services. WHO experts have already provided training to nurses and volunteers who are working with the earthquake survivors.

Source: WHO China