Last Sunday, a volcanic eruption in Guatemala killed tens and injured hundreds. Israel was the first country in the world to send aid. They transferred $10,000 for immediate emergency care and promised further aid once Guatemala established what else they needed.
Following the eruption, Guatemalan officials met to assess the severity of the situation. An Israeli delegation left for South America on Thursday. It included a team of doctors and healthcare professionals who are experienced in burns treatment and respiratory diseases. These experts can treat volcano victims who suffered lava burns and lung injuries caused by volcanic dust and ash.
The delegates are from several of Israel’s leading hospitals. The delegation is headed by a Health Ministry representative and includes plastic surgeons and burns experts from Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan. A lung specialist from the Rambam Medical Centre and Magen David Adom paramedics also accompanied the team.
The Israeli professionals are helping local doctors on the ground in Guatemalan hospitals. They’re not alone though: they brought cutting-edge Israeli medical technology with them. A special enzyme developed at Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Centre is helping burn victims heal faster than conventional treatments could. The treatment also reduces the need for surgery, ensuring speedy recovery.
Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu tweeted his pride in Israel’s emergency response team after the Guatemala volcano: “On Wednesday I promised Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales that I would send Israeli doctors to help those injured from the devastating volcanic eruption in his country. The Israeli delegation arrived the next day. Our doctors and paramedics are saving lives. I’m proud of them!”
MDA paramedic Tal Rabin, who also assisted after the earthquake in Nepal, said how proud she was to be able to help: “I am proud to be part of the Israeli delegation… I have a desire to help people in distress. I feel that this is the right thing to do and it is a great privilege to help in this important mission.”