IDF Treats Hundreds in Philippines; NBC Correspondent in 'Awe'
Since the IDF delegation to the Philippines landed last Thursday, the unit has treated over 370 wounded - 150 of them children - in a hospital in the city of Bogo.
IDF doctors at Bogo's hospital have performed operations, used advanced medical equipment, and overseen 5 births - including one Cesarean section and one birth where the mother went into labor en route to the hospital.
Provincial governor Hilario Davide III visited the hospital Saturday to tour the grounds, meet the medical staff, and thank Israel for sending the medical team to the country, which was hammered by Typhoon Heiyan last week. Heiyan has been estimated to have killed up to 10,000 people and has left hundreds of thousands wounded or missing.
In addition, large meetings were conducted Saturday afternoon with Cebu officials to determine the local population's needs in the wake of the typhoon. The IDF worked with officials to determine the most efficient ways to aid Cebu residents so they can return to a normal life as fast as possible.
The move has left NBC reporter Nancy Snyderman in 'awe' of Israel's humanitarian work.
In a special report, Snyderman noted her previous positive experiences with IDF teams, when she reported on the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquakes. She remarked that Bogo is "the place we least expected", as the city had not received as much media attention as other Philippine areas affected by the typhoon.
Snyderman also praises the IDF's medical technology, which documents each patient by preserving digital copies of their medical files to prevent problems with filing mix-ups, language barriers, and a barrage of information flowing during a time of crisis. Also noting the IDF's emphasis on security, she sums up her impressions of the IDF as being "Smart. Sophisticated. Secure."
This time, says Snyderman, she was blown away by an additional factor: the IDF's choice of Bogo. More than just remote, Bogo was poverty-stricken before the typhoon; the IDF delegation is not only attempting to help in the aftermath of the crisis, but also to enact long-term change in one of the Philippine's poorest urban centers.
"As I left, I walked away in awe of this group of doctors: physician humanitarians, and medicine at its very best," she concludes.