Chinese doctors in action to assist quake-devastated Haiti

08:20, January 15, 2010      

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A wood board improvised as a table with all medicine on it -- this is a "mobile hospital" the Chinese rescue team was able to set up to treat those injured in Haiti's capital city Port-au-Prince after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the impoverished Caribbean country on Tuesday.

A large number of injured Haitians have stood in line waiting to be treated by the Chinese doctors on the plaza in front of the quake-affected Prime Minister's Office building.

Members of a Chinese emergency rescue team inspect the collapsed building of the headquarters of the UN Stabilization Mission in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 14, 2010. The Chinese emergency rescue team arrived in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince early Thursday local time, to help the rescue operation after an earthquake in which up to 100,000 people are feared dead and eight Chinese are still missing. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

Five patients at a time were carried to the humble "mobile hospital" by volunteers. Most of them suffered physical traumas and the long-time exposed wounds were infected in many of the cases, Hou Shike, chief doctor of the rescue team told Xinhua on Thursday.

The Chinese doctors expressed their sorrow for the lack of medication supplies in Haiti, a country believed to be the poorest of the western hemisphere.

"Doctors and medicine are of great need here," Hou said in a painful tone. With each "Merci (Thank you)" from a cured patient, the medicine that the rescuer brought from China becomes less.

A Chinese rescuer gives medical treatment to an injured Haitian kid in Port-au-Prince on Thursday, January 14, 2010. (Xinhua Photo)

"Now we see the patients are still able to move. But when the infection gets worse, the consequences will be critical," Hou said, apparently worried.

"I hope there are more rescue teams joining us," he said.

China's rescue team arrived in Port-au-Prince on early Thursday morning, with 50 members of the International Rescue Team of China, three rescuer dogs and more than 20 tons of equipment and humanitarian aid.

The Chinese government officials from the Foreign Ministry and Public Security Ministry and media also arrived on a chartered plane.

An earthquake of 7.0 magnitude struck Haiti on Tuesday, destroying buildings and basic infrastructures, leaving thousands of people dead and millions affected, including the United Nations' Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

It was announced Thursday that a total of four police, 19 soldiers and 13 civilian staff members with the UN mission have died and hundreds of UN personnel unaccounted for.

According to United Nations' statistics, 70 percent of Haiti's population lives in poverty and half of its 8.5 million people are unemployed. The Food and Agriculture Organization has designated Haiti as one of the world's most economically vulnerable countries.

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