"Since the project started in 2003, the quality of medical care offered to HIV patients in Guangxi Province has vastly improved,” said Gilles Isard, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in China.
On May 12, 2008, a devastating earthquake hit Sichuan province, leaving more than 80,000 dead and 10 million homeless. One year on, displaced people who lost their families, homes, and jobs in the quake are still suffering from psychological disorders and are in need of support to rebuild their lives. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been continuing psychological care to the earthquake victims.
On May 12, 2008, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Sichuan Province in China, leaving more than 80,000 people dead and 370,000 people injured. The quake's epicenter was in Wenchuan, in the northwest of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Some 90,000 buildings collapsed and more than 10 million people left homeless. Up to 40 international staff and 16 national staff of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have worked in affected areas providing relief materials, medical care, and psychological support. Today, MSF continues to offer psychological care to affected people in Sichuan.
After attempting for almost two years to reach an agreement with China’s tuberculosis (TB) control program, MSF has given up on its efforts to start a project in Inner-Mongolia for assisting people suffering from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
Many people are still experiencing a deep sense of loss, grief, and mourning after such a terrifying event. On the other hand, most of our patients are showing signs of recovery and we no longer come across emaciated patients who have not eaten for days, or those suffering from persistent sleep disturbances.
One month after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake devastated China’s Sichuan province on May 12, MSF teams are continuing to give psychological support to the quake-affected population. Two teams of psychologists experienced in post-disaster trauma management have been providing advice and training to medical staff and have started a mental health program in sites for displaced people.