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International Effort Reinforces Health Care Capacity in Chile After Earthquake

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 12:21pm
Pan American Health Organization

Chile - Temporary field hospitals have been set up by Chilean armed forces in affected regions of the country, and temporary health facilities sent by other countries will be set up as soon as possible. An Argentine armed forces plane arrived in Santiago with a 70-bed modular hospital and two tent medical wards, an ambulance and assorted medical equipment. Brazil, Cuba, Peru and Spain have also sent field hospitals to Chile, while the government of China has offered an additional hospital.

Government reports list ten health facilities that are non-functioning or have been evacuated or flooded. Four of these are high-complexity facilities, one is of medium complexity and five are primary level facilities.

As aftershocks continue to occur, with no further human or material damage reported, search and rescue efforts continue in Maule and Biobío, two of the most affected parts of Chile. Teams are working in the coastal areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

The Director of the Pan American Health Organization, Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, was in Chile on March 3. She expressed condolences to the government and the people for the tragic losses suffered as a result of the earthquake. She had the opportunity to witness firsthand the impact of the quake and the response being carried out by national authorities. PAHO/WHO has worked hand-in-hand with health officials from the very start of the response.

80,000 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine, a donation from the vaccine company Sanofi, have now been labeled in Spanish and are ready for shipment. Chile has low endemic rates of Hepatitis A, and prior to the earthquake, had no universal vaccination policy against the disease. However, the conditions in which a significant number of people are living in shelters may favor outbreaks.

PAHO/WHO Situation Reports:

Links:

For more information please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , Información Pública, celular: +1 202 316 5679 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , Public Information Officer, Knowledge Management and Communication, tel (202) 974-3122, fax (202) 974-3143.

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