Two Israeli planes carrying personnel and equipment brought a 150 member delegation as well as 100 tons of humanitarian and medical supplies were despatched to the Philippines to aid the people struck by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).
It was decided to locate the Israeli medical facility in Bogo, in the northern province of Cebu. While headlines have mostly focused on chaos in and around Tacloban City, the typhoon also left a trail of violent destruction on Cebu Island, where the most basic of necessities are lacking. Provincial officials say as many as 90 percent of buildings on the north of Cebu were badly damaged by winds and rain, which also flattened crops, downed power lines and blocked roads. Bogo is among the cities hardest hit by the typhoon in Cebu province. Bogo City Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr: "The typhoon destroyed everything we have here, from infrastructure to agriculture.”
An advanced multi-department medical facility - comprising a children’s ward, an obstetrics ward, an ambulatory care ward, and a general admission ward - was rapidly established to provide medical care for disaster casualties, operated by IDF doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, mental health professionals, x-ray technicians, and lab workers.
Set up in a relatively remote area that lacked medical facilities, the Israeli field hospital has become the central medical facility in the area, with a population of 250,000, treating on average over 300 patients a day.
Most suffer from injuries sustained as a direct result of the typhoon. Although technically minor injuries, if left untreated these can result in infections. The cleaning of wounds and simple antibiotics have life-saving effects. The staff also treats those suffering from chronic illnesses, aggravated by the lack of running water, electricity and medical treatment.
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