Italy sends camp hospital to quake-stricken Chile

15:26, May 19, 2010      

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The Italian government has sent a well-equipped camp hospital to quake-stricken Chile as part of a long-term support strategy to the international humanitarian machine operating there.

The 6-million-euro (7.2-million-U.S.-dollars) hospital, donated by the Rome-based Fatebenefratelli clinic, was shipped from the Tuscan port of Livorno and will reach Chile by mid-June, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the civil protection unit of the Italian government.

The camp hospital is the product of Italy's collaboration with the EU's humanitarian rescue operations in Chile. The EU in fact partially funded the transport sailing costs.

Once the structure will reach Chile, the local authorities will be responsible of setting it up in Talca, one of the most heavily battered towns in the Maule region. The Italian hospital will operate there until the city's own hospital is totally rebuilt and put to use.

Italy has played a fundamental role in the aftermath of the Chilean disaster. Immediately following the earthquake that struck the Latin America country on Feb. 27, which caused hundreds of deaths and injuries and rendered many homeless, the Italian government offered to send a container-hospital to Talca in order to guarantee sanitary assistance to the local people.

The Chilean government warmly accepted the offer.

The Italian hospital is composed of several mobile parts: first aid rooms, reanimation sectors, two areas for surgery operations, radiology, sterilization, analyses labs and an apothecary.

A total of 55 patients' rooms will be set up in inflated camp tents.

Prior to the arrival of the hospital in Chile, a team of the Italian civil protection will be there to take charge of the logistic affairs, together with a group of doctors and nurses from the Fatebenefratelli clinic.

The Chilean ambassador to Italy, Cristian Barroso, thanked the Italian government in a letter sent to the civil protection unit: "This hospital, which will rise in one of the most damaged areas, is a symbol of the deep solidarity and friendship between Italy and Chile."

Source: Xinhua
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