IDF Haiti Delegation to Return to Israel Tomorrow, 27 January 2010

January 27th, 2010

IDF Delegation in Haiti to Arrive in Israel on Thursday Morning

Five Year Old Child from Haiti due for heart surgery in Israel is Also On Board the Plane. Over 30 Tons of Medical Equipment and Supplies left for Local Population

The IDF medical and rescue team sent to Haiti has concluded its operations today, Wednesday, January 27th, 2010. The delegation’s 236 members, including 218 IDF soldiers and officers and 18 civilians, will leave Haiti on board an air-plane chartered from El-Al and will land at the Ben-Gurion International Airport tomorrow at 8:30. The delegation will be welcomed in a military ceremony (opening at 9:00) at the presence of senior Israeli officials and senior IDF Commanders.

On board the air plane is a five year old child from Haiti who is scheduled to go through a heart surgery in order to correct a heart deficiency.

The delegation left 30 tons of medical equipment for use in the ongoing aid effort. This includes bandaging gear, surgery equipment, two incubators and other medical accessories as well as 1150 blankets, 30 large-sized tents, 500 mattresses, 200 sleeping bags and kitchen equipment. The equipment will be distributed to tent-cities in different locations in Haiti, under the coordination of the Israeli ambassador in the country.

Yesterday, the delegation held a ceremony to mark the closing of the field hospital set up in Haiti. Col. Itzik Kryce, commander of the field hospital, conveyed his great appreciation to the medical staff and said: “You were a drop of hope in a sea of desperation and sometimes made the difference between life and death. It is a great privilege, and you’ve done it as human beings, following the spirit of the IDF and in accordance with the values of the IDF Medical Corps.”

Col. Kryce also said: “We came here to lend a hand and provide assistance, but above all, in order to provide hope and to show that even in the worst situations, a human being can be a symbol of hope to others, wherever they may be”.

The delegation left for the disaster struck area 12 days ago, on January 15th, 2010, comprised of rescue teams from the IDF Home Front Command and Medical personnel from the IDF Medical Corps.

The delegation also included a logistical section, security personnel, C4I personnel, search and identification personnel and additional assistance.

During its stay in Haiti, the delegation treated more than 1110 patients, conducted 319 successful surgeries, delivered 16 babies, including three in caesarian sections, and rescued survivors from the collapsed buildings.

The IDF Medical Corps and Home Front Command will hold a series of briefings following the activity in Haiti in order to improve their preparedness for similar future events.

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