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IDF Delegation to Philippines to Depart on Wednesday

IDF delegation to the Philippines has treated more than 2,500 patients and helped repair damaged infrastructure.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/26/2013, 6:15 AM

IDF rescue worker examines a patient in the Philippines
IDF rescue worker examines a patient in the Philippines
Flash 90

After treating more than 2,500 patients, the IDF humanitarian delegation to the Philippines will depart back to Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

The delegation, composed of both medical professionals and Home Front Command search and rescue experts, focused on providing medical treatment to casualties of Typhoon Haiyan, and repairing damaged Infrastructures such as schools and water facilities, the IDF reported Monday on its official blog.

The delegation is expected to land in Israel at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, along with two Filipino children who will be transferred to the Schneider Hospital in Tel Aviv for further medical care.

Upon the delegation’s arrival in Israel, a military ceremony will be conducted at the Ben Gurion International Airport, during which Hanukkah candles will be lit, marking the first night of the Jewish holiday.

According to the IDF blog, over a time span of nearly two weeks, 2686 patients, out of which 848 were children, have been treated in the field hospital in Bogo City by IDF doctors.

Other than casualties and injuries suffered from the typhoon, medical treatment was provided to those who needed it, such as people suffering from chronic illnesses and other medical conditions.

Col. Dr. David Dagan, commander of the IDF field hospital, said, “The experts we brought are on the forefront of their fields in Israel. The doctors, nurses, and medical staff [who came] here left their homes, families, and jobs, immediately upon hearing there was a need…motivated by compassion and guided by the values of human dignity and friendship.”

60 surgeries were performed, including cancerous tumor removals and eye surgeries. Most of the surgeries performed were emergency, life-saving surgeries that required urgent medical attention. In addition, the IDF Gynecological team was involved in approximately 36 births. The first baby to be born in the field hospital was named “Israel”.

In a ceremony held in Bogo City Monday, at the reopening of a school repaired by the IDF delegation after being damaged by Typhoon Haiyan, Col. Dr. Dagan spoke to the medical team and said, “You operated under challenging circumstances and made difficult decisions while maintaining the highest level of professionalism. Your work was impeccable and substantial, truly exemplifying what it means to be a medical professional.”

Some of the IDF medical and rescue equipment will remain in the Philippines, to be used by the German-Austrian delegation, said the IDF. The remaining equipment consists of 8 tents, generators, various medicines and an X-ray machine.

Col. Yoram Laredo, deputy commander of the IDF humanitarian delegation, stated at the school’s reopening ceremony, “Our soldiers worked constantly to replace ceilings, build walls, and to once again make the Bogo central school a home away from home to the children of Bogo City.”

In addition to the IDF delegation, the Hatzalah YOSH organization, established to provide emergency medical treatment in Judea and Samaria, was among the first to arrive in the Philippines and save lives following the typhoon Haiyan natural disaster.

A video from the Judea and Samaria-based rescue mission in the Philippines released Monday shows the group's activities in the devastated landscape.

Israel has frequently offered aid in the wake of disasters overseas, including the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 and an earthquake in Turkey in 2011.