The lifesaving reach of the Shanghai Children's Medical Center (SCMC) extends far beyond the four walls of the hospital itself. Never was that more clear than on May 12, 2008, when an earthquake devastated Sichuan Province,about 1,000 miles from Shanghai. The quake killed nearly 70,000 people,injured thousands more, and created a massive medical emergency. Zou YongRong was on the front line of the crisis. The Director of the Neonatal Department at the People's Hospital of Yaan, Zou saw her hospital nearly destroyed by the quake and had to act quickly to care for the many casualties. Understanding that stress and injuries would likely cause many pregnant women to go into premature labor, she immediately began establishing a temporary hospital to care for prematurely delivered infants. Zou credits her decisive action in the face of the crisis to the Neonatal Intensive Care Training she received through Project HOPE at SCMC years earlier.
"Without a doubt, what I learned in Shanghai helped me a great deal in responding to this emergency," Zou said.
Her story is just one of many that demonstrate the impact of SCMC across China. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, SCMC was developed by Project HOPE and the Shanghai Municipal Government to bring advanced health care to the children of China. The hospital has become not only the country's leading pediatric treatment facility, but also a national training center. Advanced medical education at SCMC pays off in improved care nationwide. This year alone, teams of SCMC professionals responded not only to the earthquake, but also to an outbreak of hand-foot-mouth disease, a viral epidemic effecting children in Anhui Province and funding, provided by Abbott, allowed Project HOPE and staff at SCMC to immediately respond to a tainted milk-powder crisis endangering tens of thousands of children. Most importantly, other health professionals trained at SCMC extend their learning to their colleagues across China as well. After Zheng XingLi, a head nurse in intensive care at the Chengdu Children"s Hospital, completed her training at SCMC, she helped train her hospital colleagues in advanced intensive care techniques. So when the earthquake struck in May, they, too, were ready. "Because of the training I received at SCMC, we were prepared to care for the children who came to us." she says.
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