The IDF medical and rescue team in Haiti will finish its operations in the next few days and its members will return to Israel by Thursday, after completing its mission in the region. The decision came following the arrival of additional aid forces to Haiti, including the United States military and other, civilian aid, who are now providing regular medical services. Furthermore, many of the local hospitals have reached a sufficient level of functionality.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26th, the team is scheduled to cease receiving new patients and begin preparing towards returning to Israel on a direct flight on Wednesday. The delegation is scheduled to arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport by Thursday afternoon.
A few dozen patients treated at the IDF field hospital were already transferred to the American hospital in Haiti, and others will be transferred to additional medical facilities.
Part of the equipment brought by the delegation will remain in Haiti for use by the various medical personnel, including tents, medications and other medical equipment. Heavy equipment will be brought back to Israel.
The IDF Medical and Rescue team, including personnel and equipment for setting up a field hospital and a small rescue team, left for Haiti 11 days ago, on January 15th 2010, and had a significant role in providing aid to survivors of the earthquake.
During their stay in Haiti, the delegation treated more than 960 patients, conducted 294 successful surgeries, delivered 16 births including three in caesarian sections and saved many from within the ruins.
In the last few days, after most rescue operations were concluded, much of the delegation’s efforts were turned to other forms of civilian assistance, including setting up water tanks assisting daily life, and more.
The IDF Medical Corps and Home Front Command will hold a series of briefings following the activity in Haiti in order to improve its preparedness for similar future events.
The IDF Chief of the General Staff approved the recommendation by his Deputy and by the OC Home Front Command to conclude the mission.