January 14, 2010...15:55
Details on IDF Humanitarian Aid Delegation to Haiti
IDF Humanitarian Aid Delegation Scheduled to Depart to Haiti Crisis Zone
14 January 2009
Later tonight or early tomorrow morning, an IDF delegation is scheduled to depart from the Ben Gurion International Airport on board two leased airplanes in order to provide medical care and services to victims of the earthquake in the Republic of Haiti.
Brig Gen. (Res.) Shalom Ben-Arye, the Commander of Home Front Command’s National Search and Rescue Unit will head the IDF delegation and Col. Dr. Itzik Kryse will serve as his deputy as well as the head of the medical team and the hospital commander.
The IDF delegation will construct a field hospital in the disaster area that will include 220 personnel, among them Home Front Command rescue teams and IDF Medical Corps teams.
The field hospital will include 40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a pediatrics department, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an emergency room, two operating rooms, a surgical department, an internal department and a maternity ward.
The hospital can treat approximately 500 patients each day, and in addition will perform preliminary surgeries, and will house approximately ten tons of equipment.
The Home Front command forces will include 30 rescue workers, task force intelligence, logistics forces and a communications department, in addition to search and rescue and population aid experts from the Home Front Commands Search and Rescue Unit.
On Tuesday, a preliminary force of five people left for Haiti, for the purpose of establishing a status assessment of the crisis zone for the expanded delegation and will coordinate the majority of the activity until the arrival of the Israeli delegation including transportation, hospital location, food, etc.
The delegation is expected to stay in Haiti for two weeks. In those two weeks, forces will conduct a status assessment regarding the possible need for further stay.
The delegation will also include a media pool of reporters (Israeli television cameraman, a radio reporter, print reporter, and one international reporter) who were chosen randomly by the press association, under the supervision of a lawyer.
Today, as instructed by OC Home Front Command Maj. Gen Yair Golan, all members of the delegation will be given vaccines and a detailed briefing regarding the mission and the actions needed to ensure their personal safety.
Last update - 10:46 15/01/2010 Israeli aid mission leaves for Haiti; death toll estimated at 50,000 By Anshel Pfeffer and Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondents, and Reuters Tags: Haiti earthquake, Israel news
The Israel Defense Forces' aid mission to Haiti left Israel overnight Thursday with equipment for setting up an emergency field hospital. Around 220 soldiers and officers are in the delegation, including 120 medical staff who will operate the hospital in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.
The original plan was for the IDF to first send a Home Front Command rescue team, followed by medical teams.
But after contact was made with the Haitian authorities, the army and Foreign Ministry decided that the Caribbean country's most pressing need was extra medical staff. Nearly every hospital in Haiti was destroyed in Tuesday's earthquake.
The mission includes 40 doctors, 20 paramedics and 24 nurses, as well as medics and medical technicians. Around a third of the delegation is made up of reservists who were called up specially for the mission.
The IDF's chief medical officer, Brig. Gen. Nachman Esh, said that while the field hospital will largely treat trauma patients, similar to those encountered in a war, specialists in various other fields have also been sent.
"We expect to have to deal mainly with trauma cases, but when we arrive there, we also expect to encounter the secondary wave of infections and diseases, as well as the routine cases that the local hospitals would usually deal with," Esh told Haaretz.
Over the past 12 months, the IDF's medical corps has been working to reestablish the field hospital unit that was disbanded nine years ago as part of cost-cutting measures.
Planes full of supplies headed to the Port-au-Prince airport on Thursday, but they arrived faster than ground crews could unload them. Aviation authorities had to restrict non-military flights from U.S. airspace because they feared the planes would run out of fuel while waiting to land.
Relief groups are trying to address immediate needs such as clean water and medical supplies.
Desperate Haitians have set up roadblocks with corpses in Port-au-Prince to demand quicker relief efforts after a massive earthquake killed tens of thousands and left countless others homeless.
More than 48 hours after the disaster, tens of thousands of people clamored for food and water and help digging out relatives still missing under the rubble.
The Foreign Ministry has called for donations to Haiti at phone number 02-659-4222, or to account 50909 at Bank Hapoalim branch 690.
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