Long road to rehabilitation for Wenchuan quake survivors

13:15, May 07, 2011      

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In a rehabilitation center in the city of Deyang in southwest China's Sichuan Province, Li Xiaoqun is exercising on a stationary bike. It's hard to tell at first sight that her right leg is artificial.

Li, 42, is among the 5,756 people who were disabled by the 8.0-magnitude 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.

She has been receiving free "one-stop multidisciplinary rehabilitation services," including surgery, artificial limb installation, rehabilitation training and psychological consultation, from a center operated by the China Rehab Project and co-funded by the Hong Kong Red Cross and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

The center cost 68 million yuan (about 10.5 million U.S. dollars), according to Phillip Chan, the China Rehab Project Director of the Hong Kong Red Cross.

The China Rehab Project, currently co-run by the Hong Kong Red Cross and the Deyang Disabled Persons' Federation, will continue until 2013, at which time the center will be handed over to local management.

Chan said that as of the end of March this year, the center has provided services to 1,377 people disabled by the quake. Most of them come from Deyang or other nearby cities. For those who live in rural areas of these cities, the center also provides free accommodation and covers their transportation expenses.
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