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China Sends 1st Medical Team for Rehabilitation to Quake Zone

A team of 20 Chinese medical workers left Beijing for southwestern Sichuan Province on Thursday to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to the disabled earthquake survivors.

Head of the team and director of China Rehabilitation Research Center Li Jianjun said they were organized by the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

Li said there were many cases of spinal injury after the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in Sichuan. Early rehabilitation treatment could minimize the death rate, reduce the level of disability and even prevent disability. It could also help them to return to a normal life as soon as possible.

He said the team are composed of experts in spinal and brain injuries, amputation and artificial limbs, as well as in neurology, ourology and psychology.

"We might build a rehabilitation center for disabled survivors, if the total number proves to be very large," said Li.

He said a national survey in 1988 showed more than 3,000 survivors of a strong earthquake in Tangshan in north China's Hebei Province, were disabled with amputations.

(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2008)

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