WHO­head pays trib­ute to mo­bile team

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai zhouwent­ing@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Tues­day.

Mar­garet Chan, direc­torgen­eral of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, paid an in­spec­tion visit on Tues­day to a Shang­hai-based emer­gency res­cue team, one of three such teams that be­came the first to join the WHO’s Emer­gency Med­i­cal Team Ini­tia­tive ear­lier this year and the only one in China.

Chan urged the team, ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing mo­bile emer­gency field hos­pi­tals and staff mem­bers in re­sponse to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and disease out­breaks, to gain more prac­ti­cal knowl­edge from res­cue teams that have been to the world’s hardest-hit re­gions.

“You should com­mu­ni­cate more with those who have par­tic­i­pated in res­cue mis­sions in places such as West Africa, where re­sources are lim­ited and san­i­ta­tion con­di­tions are poor, to gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how to pri­or­i­tize work­loads in chang­ing cir­cum­stances,” Chan told the team mem­bers dur­ing her visit to a mo­bile emer­gency field hos­pi­tal, which cost 150 mil­lion yuan ($22 mil­lion) and is com­prised of more than 10 large tents, dur­ing a team drill in­volv­ing 60 doc­tors and nurses from Shang­hai EastHospi­tal.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate your con­tri­bu­tions to the global health mis­sion, which help the Chi­nese govern­ment and peo­ple to build re­la­tions with for­eign coun­tries,” Chan said.

Core mem­bers of the team have pre­vi­ously par­tic­i­pated in res­cue work af­ter ma­jor dis­as­ters, such as the 8.0-mag­ni­tude Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan prov­ince in 2008 and the 7.1-mag­ni­tude Yushu earthquake in Qing­hai prov­ince in 2010.

“China’s in­vest­ment in health reaps re­wards not only for its own pop­u­la­tion, but also for the rest of the world. The Shang­hai team is reg­is­tered with the WHO for emer­gency de­ploy­men­twhen the next re­gional or global out­break strikes,” said Bern­hard Schwart­lander, WHO rep­re­sen­ta­tive in China.

The mo­bile hos­pi­tal will serve as a com­pre­hen­sive med­i­cal treat­ment in­sti­tu­tion af­ter dis­as­ters when reg­u­lar med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties are com­pro­mised, said Liu Zhong­min, team leader and pres­i­dent of the hos­pi­tal.

The mo­bile hos­pi­tal’s med­i­cal treat­ment area in­cludes out­pa­tient ser­vices, a lab­o­ra­tory, a blood bank, a phar­macy and an op­er­at­ing room, while its lo­gis­tics sup­port area in­cludes an en­ergy sup­ply ware­house, cater­ing, sewage treat­ment and toi­lets.

“The ca­pac­ity for out­pa­tients is at least 200 peo­ple per day and we have 26 beds in the mo­bile hos­pi­tal,” said Chen Chun­hua, a doc­tor on the team who is from Shang­hai East Hos­pi­tal’s depart­ment of emer­gency surgery.

Chan said one ma­jor is­sue with such field hos­pi­tals is cross in­fec­tion.

Liu said the en­tire mo­bile hos­pi­tal is equipped with a ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem and the med­i­cal staff are re­quired to wash their hands and change their clothes reg­u­larly to re­duce the risk of cross in­fec­tion.

“The op­er­at­ing room is equipped with a cus­tom­made air pu­ri­fier im­ported from Ger­many to en­sure air com­ing into the op­er­at­ing room is ster­il­ized. Even heart and brain surg­eries can be per­formed here,” Liu said.

Cost of a Shang­hai-based mo­bile emer­gency field hos­pi­tal

Shan Juan con­trib­uted to this story.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

Mar­garet Chan, WHO di­rec­tor-gen­eral, watches a sim­u­la­tion surgery dur­ing her visit to a Shang­hai-based emer­gency res­cue team on

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