Naama Barak
April 27, 2021

A delegation from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center traveled on Monday to Uruguay, to share experiences acquired in Israel on combatting the coronavirus crisis.

Uruguay, which has a population of just 3.46 million, has recently seen an escalation in coronavirus cases. According to government records, there are now 27,398 active Covid cases in the country. Since the outbreak of the crisis, 2,391 people have died from the virus.

“Our main aim is to share the information that we’ve acquired over the past 14 months, since last February, regarding everything to do with treating Covid,” says Amit Gutkind, the director of Sheba’s unit for quality and safety of care.

Gutkind is leading the hospital’s Israel Center for Disaster Medicine  Humanitarian Mission delegation to Uruguay, which also includes a senior doctor and nurse from the Covid intensive care unit and the hospital’s VP of logistics.

The delegation is set to remain in Uruguay for a week, during which time it will visit hospitals, enter coronavirus wards and be of assistance to the medical teams. It will also tour the country’s vaccination sites.

“We’re going in order to pass on information on two fronts,” says Gutkind. “One is the issue of treating patients at the intensive care units, and the other is the logistics of supplying vaccinations.”

The Sheba Medical Center team traveling to Uruguay includes the hospital’s unit for quality and safety of care, its VP of logistics and a senior doctor and nurse from the Covid ICU. (Courtesy Sheba Medical Center)

The team is also set to discuss with its hosts a number of complex logistical operations carried out in the hospital since the outbreak of the crisis, such as the establishment of a Covid psychiatric ward and a Covid dialysis ward.

“There are all kinds of projects that are pretty unique in the world of corona, and we’ll be happy to share with them both the logistic and clinical aspects of them,” Gutkind explains.

“We’re hoping that there’ll be a two-way cooperation that will enrich logistical and clinical information that will provide an opening for further dialogue on any issue needed in order to make the change that Uruguay wishes for. And, of course, to save lives,” he says.

The fact that the Israeli delegation is travelling to Uruguay, he notes, is testament to the friendly relations between the two countries.

“The relationship between Israel and Uruguay is well-established and friendly,” he concludes. “We’re there to help them at this difficult time.”

This is not the first time that Sheba has sent medical aid to a country stricken by Covid-19. In December, a team of 20 doctors and nurses flew to northern Italy to assist a local hospital dealing with a serious outbreak of the disease.

The 10-day mission was initiated following an appeal from the governor of the Piedmont district to Dror Eydar, Israel’s ambassador to Italy.

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