A humanitarian mission to spread love: Chinese medical team in Haiti

08:17, February 09, 2010      

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"We are here to bring love and hope to the Haitian people from the Chinese people," said Su Yi, member of the Chinese medical team upon their arrival in the quake-torn Haitian capital late December.

True to their words, the Chinese medical personnel have managed to offer medical treatment to over 4,000 local people, and quarantined an area of 53,000 square meters, trained 12 local medical staff in little more than two weeks.

"I feel that I've never left China and I can overcome all the difficulties here since my motherland is the powerful backing for us to successfully accomplish the humanitarian relief mission," Tian Tian, a young female member who was on her first oversea mission, wrote in her diary.

Most of the 40 team members have participated in previous UN peacekeeping missions and many have been involved in the massive rescue efforts after the deadly 8.0-magnitude Wenchuan earthquake on May 12, 2008, which left about 87,000 people dead or missing.

In the hot and suffocating tent, a Chinese doctor would treat an average of 100 patients per day, working more than eight hours on their two-shift daily schedule.

Jeanne Laganda, a 30-year-old pregnant woman who stumbled over rubble during the quake, worried about the safety of her unborn baby. "I have belly ache all the time. Is my the baby ok? I cannot sleep," Laganda said, with tears in her eyes.

Chinese doctor Chen Shengrong told her to rest assured as the baby is in good condition after she gave her an ultrasonic test.

"Women and children are the most vulnerable, so I treat as my own sisters and children, and try my best to help them," Chen said.

"I'll be more happy if I can help relieve their pains. I hope the local people could feel the love of the Chinese people. Living in the global village, they are not alone," She added.

As a Chinese saying goes, "to teach a man to fish is better than give him a fish," Yang Zhenzhou, a renown Chinese disease-control expert, has put the Chinese wisdom into practice in quake-devastated Haiti. He and his colleagues managed to recruit 12 local volunteers and taught them how to prepare medical liquid and conduct distinction and epidemic prevention.

Before their departure, Yang left all the medicine and equipment to the locals and more important, the expertise needed to carry out basic quarantine and disease prevention.

"With this permanent local team, I can rest assured after we leave," he said.

During their brief stay, the Chinese medical team won great respect and appreciation from the local people.

"You are here to help Haitians, you are friends," said Daniel Salvador, a 19-year-old Haitian volunteer.

Saint Louis Wilma, a young man who used to study in China's Shandong University for six years, volunteered to act as interpreter and helped with communications between the medical team and the local authorities. He said that China has sent the best medical officers to help his fellow countrymen. The love and goodwill of the Chinese people have brought hope to the local people.

"Hello, China!" "I love you, China!" -- Many Haitian people used the simple Chinese greetings they just learned to show their gratitude to Chinese team members.

Haitian health minister Alex Larsen said during his inspection tour of the Chinese mobile clinic that the Chinese people have showed their fraternal love to the Haitian people by offering a helping hand after Haiti was hit by the quake.

Source: Xinhua
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