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IDF Field Hospital Serves 300 Patients Daily in Philippines

Since arriving in disaster-stricken Philippines, members of the field hospital have treated 710 patients, and delivered a dozen babies

By: Daniel Koren
Published: November 18th, 2013 in News » World
Members of the IDF field hospital with residents of Bogo City

In the wake of the disaster in the Philippines, ravaged by the horrifying Typhoon Haiyan which has killed approximately 4,000 people and left nearly 600,000 homeless, many nations have stepped up to offer a helping hand in this most trying of times.

Israel for one has sent an emergency team in IsraAID, in addition to erecting an IDF-sponsored field hospital.

Since the field hospital was set up last week, serving a community of 250,000, doctors at the facility, according to a new report from Times of Israel, have delivered 12 babies (the first of whom was named 'Israel' by relieved parents), and have treated on average 300 patients a day.

Dr. Ofer Merin with the IDF team says that they chose a remote region which was lacking in medical facilities, and that he personally had not seen any other medical teams in the area in the days since the IDF team arrived.

“We established our field hospital here, in Bogo City, alongside a hospital that usually has two-three physicians per shift,” he said.

Alongside Merin, the IDF team is comprised of 125 people, which includes dozens of medics, 15 nurses, and 25 doctors.

Since arriving in the ravaged area, the field hospital has treated 710 people who have experienced injuries as a result of the typhoon. “They suffered from what we, in the western world, would call minor injuries,” said Merin, “But these injuries, left untreated, can cause secondary infections.”

Merin also recounts that the babies delivered at the hospital were all premature; “If we weren’t here, there’d be one nurse or one physician in charge of all three women giving birth.”

Merin added that he believes the team will stay in the Philippines for at least another week, and that, when finished, will have assisted in helping over 2,000 patients. He added that Israel, like any sympathetic nation, will always be willing to help countries who have been assaulted by natural disaster.

“I think it is also a question of the mentality we have. We all know that when there is a disaster — wherever it happens in the world — everyone is ready to drop everything and come and assist wherever we are needed,” he said.

“We will give medical assistance to the most acute cases,” he added, but “Unfortunately, in this region, if we stay here for two months, or even for two years, we will have medical work every day.”

Related articles: Philippines, IDF, Typhoon Haiyan, Israel News, Disaster
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