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Chinese Doctors Offer Helping Hands in Haiti

A Chinese doctor examines an injured girl in Port-au-Prince January 23, 2010. The second group of 15-strong Chinese doctors will arrive at the Haitian capital on Monday to take the place of another 15 medical staff sent among the first 50-person Chinese rescue team. [Xinhua] 

In a field hospital near the airport, Li Xianghui was checking the wounds of a patient, while his colleague Hou Shike and several others were rushing a patient on a stretcher to the tent next door.

Zhang Yanjun, meanwhile, was comforting a two-month-old ill Haitian baby in her arms.

The 50-person China International Search and Rescue (CISAR) team, which was among the first to arrive in Port-au-Prince after the earthquake, is returning home on Monday (Jan 25) as the OSOCC (Onsite Operation and Coordination Center) of the United Nations announced on Friday the end of the international search mission.

The OSOCC has described the international rescue mission this time as the longest and most effective in its history.

The 15 Chinese doctors and nurses in the rescue team leaving on Monday will be replaced by another 15-member medical team arriving on the same day.
In the last two days of their mission in Haiti, the Chinese rescue team still want to offer as much help as possible. On their way home to the base in the Sonapi industrial zone, they went by the Mais Gate park where 3,500 homeless Haitians make their temporary shelters. They sprayed disinfectants to quarantine the area and distributed mouth masks and quarantine leaflets in French.

Johnny, a young man who claims to be the communication director of the committee of the camp, said he welcomes the Chinese help. But he also complained that his place was ignored by the government. Clean water and food were still far from meeting demand.

The Chinese medical team are coming back to the same US hospital these days, where medical professionals from many countries are offering their help, busy treating the many wounded in the earthquake.

In the last 10 days, the Chinese medical team has treated more than 2,500 patients and providing quarantine services to 10,000 local residents, according to Huang Jianfa, head of the CISAR.

Huang, who has participated all the rescue missions since CISAR's establishment in 2001, said this is the fastest reaction in the CISAR's history, arriving at 2 am on January 14 local time. "The distance from home is also the longest and the number of the 50-member team the largest," Huang said.

Before finishing their day's work over the weekend, the Chinese medical team donated boxes of medicines and supplies to the US hospital.

Staffed by doctors from the University of Miami medical school, Project Medishare and other medical aid groups, the medical facility now accommodates some 150 patients, including a big pediatrician section.

A Portuguese doctor was checking the dressings on the wound while a French doctor was checking the case on the other side of the tent.

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