Doctors from the Chengdu military medical team do an operation on a 16-year-old Nepali girl, who broke her right leg, at a field hospital in Kathmandu on May 1.[Photo/China Daily]
Nearly a week after the huge earthquake in Nepal, Chinese medical teams are trying to provide as much assistance as local communities require in the Himalayan country.
The 70-member Chengdu military medical team has treated nearly 60 wounded Nepalis and performed six surgeries within 48 hours of landing in the capital Kathmandu. The Chinese military team is also the only international rescue team to have a surgical center in Nepal so far.
“Our temporary operating room used to be a military camp, so we spent hours to sterilize the room, and we used bed sheets to cover the window from the blowing wind. Patients are transferred from local hospital or disaster sites directly by the local army,” Hu Yonghe, director of the Chengdu Military Medical Team, said on May 1.
After hours of work in such a simple operating room, Hu’s eyes were bloodshot. Some Nepali military medical personnel were allowed to observe the operation as a way to quickly train local medical staff.
Bodhraj Ghimire fell from a three-floor building during the earthquake and broke an ankle. He was one of the first patients transferred from a local hospital to the Chinese field hospital.
“The local hospital can only provide first aid treatment, but my injury required a serious operation. Luckily, I was transferred to the Chinese military hospital soon after they established the field hospital. I have been treated very well,” the 38-year-old Nepali man said.
The military medical team also brought more than 50 metric tons of medicine, including many for epidemic prevention. They sent out a detachment to visit temporary housing to provide accessible medical help.
Dev Ratna Dhakhaw, secretary-general of the Nepal Red Cross Society, said Chinese medical support is very efficient because they keep the demand from Nepal in mind.
“Chinese medical teams are very open minded. Their support is very sustainable,” Dhakhaw said.
Hundreds of thousands of families and homeless people are still living under waterproof fabrics at public shelters. When the Nepali Red Cross demanded a large number of tents, the Chinese Red Cross delivered 2,000 of them by April 30.
Each tent is able to house six people or one family. The tents from China will provide accommodation for more than 10,000 Nepalis.
“We learned from our experience in the Philippine’s disaster in 2013 that all of our assistance should be based on their demand. Kathmandu has been full of international rescue teams, so we will settle outside of the capital city where large numbers of Nepali haven’t been taken care of,” said Cai Wennan, a member of the Chinese Red Cross team in Nepal.