Qinghai earthquake – update April 19

The three-person Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) assessment team arrived in Yushu on Saturday evening and spent Sunday meeting officials and looking at medical needs.

The team met with the local Public Health Bureau as well as Foreign Affairs officials who said that MSF assistance with the initial emergency response phase was not needed.

The most severely injured quake victims have already been evacuated to facilities in the provincial capital Xining and neighbouring provinces. The military have set up a large field hospital in the centre of town, staffed by military health workers and civilian volunteers. The MSF assessment team saw the facility and said that it is not overwhelmed and that a well equipped intensive care unit is fully operational.

The team will continue its assessment from Monday, looking at villages outside of Jiegu to see if medical needs exist outside of the main town in the area.

Damage from the quake is extensive and all previously functioning health structures in Jiegu are either destroyed or damaged. The team will look at ways MSF can assist in renovating the structures that have been closed by the earthquake.