The 236-member Israel Defense Forces (IDF) medical and rescue team (218 soldiers and 18 civilians) that landed in Haiti three days after the catastrophic earthquake struck the island nation concluded its operations today.
On board their homeward-bound plane is a five-year-old Haitian child who will receive heart surgery in Israel.
During their stay the Israelis treated more than 1,110 patients, conducted 319 successful operations, delivered 16 babies and rescued people trapped beneath the ruins.
The delegation comprised rescue teams from the IDF Home Front Command and medical personnel from the IDF Medical Corps as well as a logistics unit, security personnel, C4I personnel, search and identification personnel and others.
Thirty tons of supplies including surgical apparatus, two incubators, bandages, blankets and kitchen equipment were left behind in Haiti for use in the ongoing aid effort.
At a ceremony to mark the dismantling of the field hospital Col. Itzik Kryce, hospital commander, told his staff: “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.”