On December 20th, 2011, authorities and people gathered in Cangxi Municipality to celebrate the opening of the county’s Maternal and Children Hospital (MCH). The hospital is one of the first of many health facilities that completed reconstruction under the World Bank financed Wenchuan post earthquake reconstruction project.
Three and half years after the catastrophic earthquake struck the region and damaged many township and village hospitals and clinics, this hospital will house a new outpatient building of 6,000-square-meter and 120 beds, ready to serve the locals with quality maternal and child care.
The hospital will serve a population of around 800,000 people and be able to receive 15,000 inpatients and 100,000 outpatient visits per year, a big increase from before, when it was only able to take care of 3,000 – 4,000 inpatients and 20,000-30,000 outpatient visits.
“The reconstruction opens a new chapter for the County Maternal and Children Hospital, laying a foundation for its future development and presenting a chance for it to also improve staff’s skills and services to better meet the needs of women and children in the county,” said Li Ying, Deputy County Chief of Cangxi.
“The reconstruction will also help us achieve the goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality in the county, since the new building enables us to provide institutional deliveries for almost every pregnant woman in the county,” said Mu Zeyuan, Director of the Cangxi County Maternal and Children Hospital. “As we know, home deliveries account for the majority of maternal and infant deaths.”
On May 12, 2008, an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 struck southwestern China, centered in Wenchuan County of Sichuan Province. More than 47 million people were affected. Direct losses were estimated at RMB 844 billion (US$123 billion), including: 34,000 km of highway destroyed; 1,263 reservoirs damaged; 7,444 schools and 11,028 hospitals and clinics collapsed, and 5.5 million rural houses and 860,000 urban houses destroyed or significantly damaged. County and municipal hospitals also had structural damage or significant losses of equipment and facilities.
The Wenchuan Earthquake Recovery Project, launched in early 2009, aims to restore and improve essential infrastructure and health and education facilities, while reducing the vulnerability to seismic and flood hazards.
In the health component, the project finances the reconstruction and expansion of health facilities, including township health centers, maternal and child health centers, and county hospitals and community disease control centers.
In Sichuan, 60 health facilities will be rebuilt in 19 counties under this project. The Cangxi Maternal and Children Hospital is the first hospital that has completed reconstruction.
The project also focuses on building the capacity and providing training to health staff to manage the new facilities, better serve the community and prepare for future emergencies.