Four senior medical personnel from the Sheba Medical Center are currently in the Philippines as part of the Israel Defense Forces medical corps' 148-person humanitarian mission to that typhoon-ravaged country.
Prof. Elon Pras (an expert in internal medicine who heads Sheba's Genetics Institute), Dr. Tomer Erlich (a urologist), and Inbal Amit (internal medicine nurse) and Orna Tzruya (pediatric nurse) are helping to run a pediatric emergency field hospital, near Daanbantayan in the northern province of Cebu.
The hospital includes an x-ray room, a children's department, an ambulatory care department and birthing facilities. The IDF team includes doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, mental health professionals, x-ray technicians and lab workers.
Pediatric nurse Orna Tzruya wrote to Sheba CEO Prof. Zeev Rotstein that "we set up base about 100 km north of Cebu. Families are streaming into our field hospital. We are all very motivated to do what we can to assist the distressed population here, which is in great need not only of disaster relief but also basic, quality healthcare, especially the children. We have been very well received, and truly feel like goodwill ambassadors of the State of Israel and the Jewish People."
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke to his Philippino counterpart and said that "The Israeli people feel the pain of the Filipino people and stand by their sides in this difficult hour. I am hopeful that the IDF delegation sent to the Philippines will help as much as is possible with saving lives."
Sheba CEO Prof. Zeev Rotstein adds: "The Sheba Medical Center is more than Israel's most comprehensive hospital. It is a global humanitarian NGO, operating in more than three dozen countries around the world. Just this past summer, Sheba doctors conducted burns and cleft lip surgeries in Peru, pediatric cardiac surgeries in Nigeria, and cataract surgeries in Uzbekistan. These activities stem from an abiding concern for healing and compassion that is ingrained in Jewish history and tradition. I am very proud of our doctors and nurses who volunteer for this humanitarian work"