Physicians affiliated with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) were among the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) medical and rescue delegation in Haiti. Marking their return, they were honored this week on BGU’s Marcus Family Campus.
The delegation’s 236 members included 218 IDF soldiers and officers, and 18 civilians.
In addition to the Israeli delegation, several graduates of BGU’s Medical School for International Health, an English-taught medical school in collaboration with Columbia University that focuses on emergency medicine, disaster relief and the developing world, were also helping in Haiti.
“We take enormous pride in the role played by our BGU faculty and graduates. Our unique expertise in emergency medicine made us an integral part of Israel’s delegation to Haiti,” remarks Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “This mission is a quintessential example of how we share our knowledge, talent and expertise with the world,” he says.
During their efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, the medical delegation treated more than 1,110 patients, conducted 319 successful surgeries and delivered 16 births, including three in Cesarean sections. In addition, the IDF search and rescue team rescued or assisted in the rescue of four individuals.
The delegation left 30 tons of medical equipment for use in the ongoing aid effort, including bandages, surgery equipment, two incubators, as well as blankets, tents and mattresses. The equipment will be distributed to tent cities in different locations in Haiti, under the coordination of the Israeli ambassador there.