WHO Receives US$1.3 Million for Urgent Medical Aid to China

2008-05-26 14:03 876

BEIJING, May 26 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The World Health Organization (WHO) has received US$1.3 million in United Nations emergency funds to provide urgently needed medical supplies and support to survivors of China's devastating May 12 earthquake. Chinese authorities have requested medical support from WHO in the aftermath of the magnitude 8.0 earthquake, which has killed tens of thousands of people and severely affected medical services in Sichuan Province.

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The grant, provided by the United Nations' Central Emergency Response Fund, will strengthen core humanitarian relief programmes and ensure that critical, life-saving activities are functioning in earthquake-affected areas.

The funds will go towards:

-- Buying and distributing surgical supplies and essential medicines

to treat hundreds of thousands of people.

-- Preventing and controlling epidemics and communicable disease with

laboratory testing equipment, water-sanitation materials, safe food,

vaccine deliveries and vector control.

-- Restoring key frontline health and medical facilities by providing

essential medicines and supplies for primary healthcare and

immunization services.

"WHO will strengthen China's power to reduce the risks of epidemic outbreaks and to treat any cases of communicable diseases that appear," said Dr Eric Laroche, Assistant Director-General for WHO's Health Action in Crises cluster. "Damaged health facilities must start treating survivors as quickly as possible for injuries, potential diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory infections and psychosocial trauma."

WHO is also dispatching a team of experts to China to support government efforts to reconstruct health care services and support disease control efforts.

Source: World Health Organization