Operation Blessing, Israeli Doctors Team Up in Haiti

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Operation Blessing has teamed up with Israeli medical staff in Haiti's earthquake-stricken capital, providing medical supplies, logistical support and transport.

OB Director of International Disaster Relief and Special Projects David Darg donated an entire plane load of medicine and medical equipment to the Israeli teams for use in the mobile clinics.

Darg said they have set up a central distribution center in the soccer stadium.

Click here to read Darg's blog.

Shortly after arriving in Port-au-Prince, OB hired a team of airport workers to help unload and sort supplies that had been flown in. Two pallets of valuable antibiotics were donated to Operation Blessing, Darg said.

Operation Blessing's director met the 15-member team from FIRST Search and Rescue division, a member organization of IsraAID (the Israel Forum for International Aid) upon their arrival on Saturday.  The team is made up of doctors, nurses, paramedics and logisticians.

OB and FIRST staffers unloaded food and medical equipment from one of the aircraft, while medical staff began working at the partially collapsed main hospital in Port-au-Prince, where thousands have come for desperately needed help. The medical team organized four empty rooms and began treating patients immediately.

"The scenes in the hospital were horrible," said Israeli nurse Sheva Cohen from Kibbutz Ein Yahav. "We saw people everywhere - on the floors, in the building and outside. People with amputations and bone-deep wounds - hundreds of them - the size of the catastrophe is unbelievable," she said.

Cohen said one local doctor had been working alone to treat the injured before they arrived.

"We were the first foreign backup team to operate in the hospital," she said.

Most of the injured were lying on beds and mats on the hospital grounds, fearful to enter the building.

IsraAID officials said their team is assessing the situation on the ground and may be sending a second team next week.

OB has also been providing transportation to a Spanish search and rescue team and their dogs.

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