Thursday, January 21, 2010
Along with schools, homes and government buildings, Haiti's hospitals took a big hit. Getting aid in through badly damaged roads and airports has been a daunting task. Many people are found with injuries and infections that present the real danger of causing fatalities.
I knew that the Israelis were not going to sit this one out. But their participation in the Haitian relief effort has been astounding The Jewish Journal Blog reported as follows of an Israeli hospital set up in Port Au Prince that was actually the first field hospital to be set up in Port au Prince since the earthquake.
"Cut to the Israeli field hospital near Port au Prince. The reporter tours the facility speechless by what she sees: an MRI machine, patients on respirators, operating stations and beds. In a matter of 48 hours, the Israel Defense Force medical mission and search-and-rescue crews arrived in Haiti. The medical team established a field hospital adjacent to Port-au-Prince’s soccer stadium that can treat as many as 500 patients per day. The field hospital is equipped with:
• Operating rooms
• An intensive care ward
• A maternity ward
• A pediatrics ward
• Incubator units
• A pharmacy
• X-ray equipment
• 10 tons of medical equipment
• 90 beds, 66 intensive care beds and two delivery beds
• Approximately 250 personnel, including 40 doctors and specialists, 20 nurses and several paramedics.
The IDF team included medical personnel from Sheba Medical Center, ZAKA, Magen David Adom, IsraAID/First and other organizations. "
The Israelis have a record of being quick to respond to natural disasters.They were actually able to get into Myanmar when even the United Nations was not able to get in. 140 countries have benefited from Israeli humanitarian aid. One of the saddest moments for the Israelis was when the Iranians refused help from the "Zionist entity" after a devastating earthquake, preferring a higher death toll to taking help from Israel.
The Israeli government cites the following reason for Israel's dedication to humanitarian efforts.
"If there be among you a needy man, one of thy brethren, within any of thy gates, in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thy hand from thy needy brother."
There are already be those who say that Israel's aid abroad is a "distraction" from its "crimes". I hope they are quick to compete, to try to overshadow Israel's efforts with efforts of their own.
The Israeli government has represented the concern of its citizens for suffering in the world. A small country with much with which to be preoccupied has made the suffering of people in distant places into a matter of top concern. Thank you Israel, for remembering those in need.
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