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Home >> World
UPDATED: 11:17, January 02, 2005
Feature: "We need your help"
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"We need your help," said Anwar, a middle-aged man on Saturday while taking medicine from a doctor of the Chinese relief team, which is busy treating the survivors of the tsunami-devastated Banda Aceh of Indonesia.

Anwar is among the first hundreds of Aceh people to receive help from the 35-member Chinese rescue team, which arrived in Medan, capital of North Sumatra, early Friday, and rushed to the worst-hit Aceh Province later in the day.

Encamped at a corner of the regional airport, Chinese medical specialists started their first-day work early Saturday by helping hundreds of people who had been gathering around the airport for transit to other places.

The Chinese doctors, in eye-catching orange uniform, treated some 150 people during the first two hours. Most of the patients suffered from diarrhea, flu and keratitis. Some got body trauma when evading the tsunami.

The Chinese team were very much welcomed by the locals. Throughbroken English and body language, they told the doctors that they want more aids from the Chinese doctors as they knew of no other advanced professional medical teams in Aceh.

Anwar, who has just fled the Western Aceh area with his wife and daughter, thanked Chinese physician Wu Xuejie, who treated his8-month-old daughter suffering from diarrhea.

He was heart stricken by the loss of 13 loved ones including hisparents in massive tsunamis on Sunday. "Too painful, too painful,"he muttered, in tears.

Over 80,000 people were reported killed in Indonesia. The country was worst affected by Sunday's huge earthquake off its western Sumatra island and the tidal waves it spawned, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total dead in South and Southeast Asia. Some were also killed in Africa.

Besides sending relief teams to the stricken areas, the Chinese government on Friday also pledged an additional 500 million yuan (60.46 million US dollars) in humanitarian aid, in addition to an earlier offer of 21.63 million yuan (2.62 million dollars) in aid announced shortly after the catastrophe.

Zheng Jingchen, chief medical officer of the Chinese team, said the survivors mainly suffer from diseases caused by unsanitary food and water, humid weather, and stress.

"Due to high temperature and humidity, the wounds could easily become infected without treatment," Zheng said, adding that essential balm, which can prevent infection by repelling insects, is very popular among the victims.

Liu Yaqi, one of the four female members, gave medical treatment to an 8-year-old girl with wounds caused by massive waves in the tsunamis. The wounds were minor at first and became serious later due to infection.

What matters is sanitation, which they need most now, Liu said.

With her wounds disinfected and dressed, the girl smiled, turned to her mother: "I'm feeling much better, Mom."

Source: Xinhua


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