Home / Major earthquake slams SW China Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Anxian County reports no major epidemic outbreak
Adjust font size:

At 2 PM on May 22, China.org.cn spoke by phone with Sun Jianli, one of the Tangshan group leaders in the Hebei health relief team. He had seen no indications for a major epidemic outbreak so far in his area of responsibility in Anxian County, Mianyang City. Intestinal and respiratory disease casualties are falling in the normal range and people are calm.

China.org.cn: The health and epidemic prevention team from Hebei Province was one of the first teams sent to disaster areas in Sichuan. How many professionals are in your Tangshan health and epidemic prevention group? When did you reach Anxian County?

Sun Jianli: Before I PM on May 16 I received an order from the provincial authorities that the Tangshan health and epidemic prevention team would leave for Sichuan the same day. We booked tickets immediately and rushed to Beijing. At 7 PM we flew from Beijing and reached Chengdu at 10 PM, and slept there overnight. We had planned to leave for Wenchuan early on May 17 but the roads to Wenchuan were blocked from mountain landslides. We were stranded in Chengdu for more than four hours.

Later, the Sichuan earthquake relief headquarters made a fast decision and sent us to Anxian County, another heavily hit disaster area. We had 16 people from Tangshan; afterwards we formed a joint epidemic prevention team together with the Hebei provincial center for disease control and prevention, consisting of all together 38 people.

China.org.cn: The members from Tangshan City account for 40 percent of the whole provincial team. How did you organize yourselves so quickly?

Sun Jianli: Many of my colleagues and I experienced the Tangshan earthquake that took place 32 years ago. We suffered greatly but more importantly, we were immensely grateful for everyone's help – it came from all across China. Not surprisingly, our people were ready to leave for disaster areas. Upon receiving the order from the provincial authorities, we formed our group within half a day.

China.org.cn: How do you conduct health and epidemic prevention work inside such a vast area?

Sun Jianli: We were the first epidemic prevention team entering Anxian County. On arrival, the first thing we did was an investigation. We visited some relief sites in Anxian County, some heavily hit townships, and various shelters housing over 4,000 earthquake survivors. We started comprehensive monitoring and investigations during the visit.

It is quite hot these days. We were worried about the outbreak of intestinal and respiratory diseases. Luckily, recent investigations and statistics have revealed that the situation is basically normal and intestinal and respiratory diseases casualties are in the normal range. No major epidemic outbreak trends have appeared to date.

Later, many other epidemic prevention teams came into Anxian County, largely reducing our workload, so our present work focuses mainly on three towns in Anxian County. Chaping Town was also severely struck and damaged, but no epidemic prevention team has been there yet because mountain roads are completely blocked by boulders.

China.org.cn: How about the life of people in Anxian County?

Sun Jianli: They have set up simple sheds. Some people have been transferred from the heavily hit townships to others. Many towns in Anxian County are being used as relief sites; a big one can roughly accommodate 5,000 people. The local civil affairs departments have made all the necessary arrangements to support victims. People are calm.

China.org.cn: What has your work focused on recently?

Sun Jianli: Our most important task is to ensure the safety of drinking water and food. The next task is monitoring the environment to promote human health, for example, killing flies and mosquitoes, testing the quality of water and regularly disinfecting garbage, toilets and tents. At the same time, we are educating the victims in disaster areas about sanitation and hygiene so that they may actively take care of their own health.

China.org.cn: How are your own accommodations and supplies ensured?

Sun Jianli: We're prepared to stay here for one or two months. In order to reduce any burden on disaster areas, we prepared ample food in advance, including instant noodles, preserved pickles, salty duck eggs, compressed biscuits and bottled water. After we settled in Anxian County, we bought some stoves as well. We buy vegetables and cook our own meals every day. If we work outside of the camp during lunch, we'll simply eat some biscuits and drink mineral water.

(China.org.cn by Wang Wei, May 24, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Cuban medical team arrives in quake-hit Sichuan
- 6 pandas moved to new shelter after quake
- Facts and figures about quake and relief
- Trunk highways, rural roads worst hit in Sichuan quake
- Premier encourages surviving students
- Quake rumor-mongering to face severe penalties
Most Viewed >>
- Moment quake struck captured in wedding photos
- Exclusive photos of the devastation at Hanwang town
- Girl freed from ruins after legs amputated
- Casualties in SW China's worst earthquake
- Armed police brigade arrive at major quake lake