Plans include assisting the earthquake victims with reconstruction efforts and with “getting a foothold again” after the disaster of last Saturday. Photo: REUTERS/Stringer
“Thank God that fewer lives were lost than five years ago”
Pictures like these appear after every earthquake and yet they never lose their sadness and always call for our compassion: People who dare not return into their houses and have set up emergency shelters such as tarps or tents at the roadside. Debris is scattered on the streets and in enormous piles that give you an idea of the size of the original buildings. Injured people are sitting next to their few remaining belongings.
In his capacity as the medical director of the Björn Steiger Foundation and president of the newly-founded “Sino-German Institute of Disaster and Emergency Medicine” at the Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, Prof. Dr. Dr. Bernd Domres had been on a visit to China anyway. When he was asked by humedica to travel to the earthquake zone to plan relief efforts on site, his response was immediate and positive.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Domres and his Chinese assistant took the bus from Chengdu to the city of Ya’an which is situated in the earthquake zone. The German physician is an expert in disaster medicine and has already been on six earthquake aid missions with humedica before. From Ya’an, rescue vehicles took them to the mountain region of Lushan.
“From a medical point of view, the first 72 hours after an earthquake are the most significant and critical. During that stage, Chinese rescuers and organisations have worked very efficiently”, says Prof. Domres, sharing his first impressions. “In this state of emergency, the injured are being treated for free. The hospitals are working without interruption and the badly injured have been flown out to bigger hospitals.”
This on-site assessment by the surgeon reinforces the intention of humedica to focus our support on the distribution of relief goods as well as on reconstruction efforts. “Especially the mountain villages in the surroundings of Lushan were badly hit by the quake. Yet, fortunately, the damage is not as extensive as, for instance, in Haiti. Still, help is important for these little mountain villages.”
Apart from talking to local representatives about specific possibilities to help, this first stage of his visit also served to convey a message: “We are here to express our solidarity and friendship – and thus, mark the beginning of a time in which we can help in cooperation with and learn from each other.”
In parallel to this assessment visit, further plans are being made in cooperation with the relief organisation CRASH Japan. The organisation had become a partner of humedica after the tsunami in Japan in 2011, where the aid efforts of the two organisations had been focused on trauma support and the distribution of relief supplies.
Dear friends and supporters: Solidarity and friendship – together with you we can help the earthquake victims in China, stand by their side and bring them hope. Please help us to help the people in the province of Sichuan with your donation. Thank you very much.
humedica e. V.
Reference “Earthquake China“
Account 47 47
Bank Code 734 500 00
SWIFT-Code: BYLA DE M1 KFB