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Chinese Doctors Assist Homeless at Haitian Shelter Camp

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The most common problems are fevers, respiratory illnesses and rashes associated with insanitary living conditions.

Last week, a team member at the site told Xinhua that residents did not have toilets and many returned to houses made shaky by the quake.

Unlike the situation in Sichuan where the government had airlifted the most severe patients out of the quake area, in Haiti patients in similar conditions remained where they were because the Haitian government appeared not to have the resources to move them and it took time to coordinate the large number of organizations that rushed to Haiti to help.

"Coordination was difficult. With so many organizations on the ground it is hard to make an efficient response," said Liu, the team leader.

In the Sichuan quake, the central government coordinated relief efforts and was able to quickly draw on modern facilities from across the large nation.

Haiti, by contrast, has a very limited territory. Its systems were severely strained by the deaths of around 200,000 citizens and the displacement of a further 1.5 million.

"Solving Haiti's medical problems is definitely something for the long term," said Liu, whose unit had been in Liberia for a year as part of a UN operation. "The health and sanitation systems remain at a very immature stage.

(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2010)

The delegate of Haiti's Health Department Roc Magloire (R) talks with the leader of Chinese medical team Liu Wendou during his visit at the clinic set up by the Chinese medical team in Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti, on February 3, 2010.
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