Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

WHO Director-General and Goodwill Ambassador visit China's earthquake-affected areas

8 November 2008

WHO Director-General meets a Mother and child in Sichuan province, China
WHO/N. Otto

Six months after the devastating earthquake in China's Sichuan province, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Ethiopian supermodel Liya Kebede, visited the site and met with health workers and families who were affected.

On 5 November, Dr Chan and Ms Kebede took part in the opening ceremony of a new wing of Xiaoquan Township Hospital. This hospital suffered some structural damage as a result of the earthquake, and is now adding a new wing.

They then visited the nearby Wuhui Village Clinic where they spoke with local health workers about the challenges of running a rural clinic, and about their experience of the earthquake. The health workers explained that, after the earthquake, they stayed on duty and lived in the hospital for several months, to ensure that health care services were available to the population.

Dr Chan and Ms Kebede went on to the city of Chengdu, where they visited Xinhua Community Health Centre and the Sichuan Academy of Medicine Sciences, which integrates traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine.

Liya Kebede visits a maternal and child health facility in Beijing
WHO/N. Otto

The following day, they visited the West China Hospital in Sichuan University, where a rehabilitation centre is providing health services to survivors of the earthquake.

On the final day of her visit to China, Ms Kebede visited two maternal and child health facilities in Beijing. In the morning, she visited the Beijing Maternal Hospital where she spent time in the mother and infant room, the neonatal intensive care unit, and also visited a class organized for men who are going to be fathers soon. In the afternoon, she visited the Capital Paediatric Hospital, known for its child care facilities.