Israeli Docs Treating Hundreds in Philippines

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- An Israeli field hospital is up and running in the Philippines, delivering much needed medical help to those grief-stricken people. 

On the first day the team delivered a premature baby boy to very grateful parents.

"We choose the name Israel just to say thank you to the Israeli people who helped in giving birth," the baby's mother said.

Israelis set up their tent hospital in Bogo City on Cebu Island. It's adjacent to a Philippine hospital that just has three doctors serving 200,000 people.

IDF Col. Ofer Merin is the manager of the field hospital. He told reporters by phone they are seeing hundreds of people a day.

"We are fully multi-disciplinary hospital," Merin said. "We are able to do from the minor to the more major treatments."

There are 125 people on the Israeli team - about half are medical personnel and the others are logistics workers. 

"Of course our main target here is to treat the hundreds, maybe the thousands of people that we will treat," Merin continued. "But also a side target that we're aiming is the cooperation with the people here and maybe…to give them some of our knowledge."

Israelis usually show up quickly after a disaster.

"Some of it is [a] question of the mentality that we have. When we know there is a disaster, everyone is ready to drop everything and to come and to assist in any place in the world where we are needed," he said.

The team also helped renovate a school in Bogo city damaged by the typhoon. Students should be able to resume their studies there in the next few days.

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