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Italian Medical Team Welcomed in China's Quake Zone

An Italian medical team had set up a mobile hospital in Xiaode Township in southwest China's quake-hit Mianzhu City to warm appreciation from the local people on Friday.

"It is really a difficult moment for us, and we lack both human and material resources. The Italian medical team is here to provide timely help, and we very much appreciate that," said Luo Haijun, a herbalist doctor with the township hospital.

The township hospital building had several cracks and was listing after the massive earthquake. Staff have been unable to salvage many medical materials and equipment because the building could collapse at any time.

On arrival on Friday morning, the 25-strong Italian medical team set up a mobile hospital of five tents equipped with generators and a full set of equipment necessary for sophisticated surgery, the hospital could treat about 50 patients at the same time.

Many local people, including workers, farmers and children, helped set up the mobile hospital in front of the township hospital.

Besides treating the wounded, the Italian team also planned to recruit local medical staff to work with them and teach them how to work in the mobile hospital.

"We will hand over the mobile hospital to the local people, and we hope our Chinese colleagues know how to use it to better treat the injured," said Paolo Vaccari, an official with the Italy's Interior Ministry.

Italy was among the first countries to offer relief aid to China. Andrea Ferrari, the Italian embassy's first economic and commercial counselor, told Xinhua the Italian people hoped to deliver their best equipment and materials to the Chinese people.

So far Italy had donated 1 million euros in funds and relief materials worth 1.5 million euros to China.

(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2008)

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