NBC’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, said she left “in awe” of Israeli doctors and medics after paying a visit to an IDF field hospital serving victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which recently ravaged the Philippines.
The base was set up in Bogo, a small village on the northern island of Mactan, a location the Israelis selected because the locals “were poor and their needs were great”, according to the IDF Surgeon General in charge.
“As I left, I walked away in awe of this group of doctors: physician humanitarians, and medicine at its very best,” Dr. Snyderman wrote for NBC.
On its first day in operation the field hospital treated 370 patients, including 150 children, Israeli media reported.
“The Israeli team, which includes doctors, paramedics and nurses, has been performing surgeries and assisting with deliveries. One of the women whose delivery was assisted by an Israeli team has decided to name her newborn baby Israel,” Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot said.
Describing her experiences at the IDF facility Snyderman noted that she had seen the IDF in action before, in Haiti, following the country’s devastating earthquake of 2010.
“Smart. Sophisticated. Secure. This was what I had experienced with the IDF before,” she said. “But now I was impressed with something else: the place they had selected. This wasn’t a site where trauma surgeons were needed — those injuries in other towns were being addressed. What the people of Bogo needed was good, solid medical care. They were already living in poverty when the typhoon decimated their fragile infrastructure.”
So far over 3600 people have been reported killed by the typhoon, and thousands more are missing or have been displaced.