Three years after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake killed some 68,000 people and devastated the region, the Chinese province of Sichuan has rebuilt its education and healthcare systems to be more modern and more connected than ever before.
The just-completed “Connecting Sichuan” effort between Cisco and the Sichuan provincial government is the first successful public-private partnership program between Chinese government and a foreign corporation. Working together, Sichuan and Cisco focused on creating a sustainable development model for the future. The project has helped put into place modern, connected IT infrastructures for 66 healthcare organizations and 102 education organizations in more than 10 counties and cities.
“Connecting Sichuan” saw a total commitment of more than $50 million to help with the rebuilding efforts.
In healthcare, the effort built 32 smart and digitized hospitals, four connected regional healthcare collaboration networks, six regional healthcare data centers and three modern mobile clinics. In education, the program has designed and delivered 21st century schools, an education cloud and virtual education, and has set up 25 Cisco Networking Academy venues to support higher vocational education.
Sichuan’s schools were especially hard-hit by the earthquake, causing the deaths of many children. Much criticism was directed after the fact at the shoddy construction of many schools, which critics called “tofu-dregs schoolhouses.”