JERUSALEM (JTA) — At least 12 babies, most premature, have been delivered in Israel’s field hospital in the Philippines — including one named Israel.
The hospital is seeing about 300 patients a day, many injured in last week’s Typhoon Haiyan or unable to care for chronic conditions due to lack of running water or electricity. The premature babies are being cared for in incubators brought by the Israel Defense Forces as part of the field hospital.
“I am not sure what would have happened if we had not been around,” said Lt.-Col. Dr. Ofer Merin, the medical manager of the field hospital.
The IDF’s 147-member medical and humanitarian delegation and 100 tons of humanitarian and medical supplies landed on Thursday evening in Bogo City on Cebu Island, one of the areas hardest hit by Haiyan.
Merin said the field hospital, which is attached to the local hospital, was operational by Friday morning, and that the team will likely stay for two weeks, depending on the needs of the local population.
Meanwhile, a team of medical and trauma personnel from IsraAID, an Israeli disaster relief organization, landed late last week in Tacloban, considered ground zero of a humanitarian disaster that has claimed thousands of lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless. A second IsraAID team left Israel on Friday for the Philippines.