The field hospital of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was ranked by the United Nations (UN) as the top performing medical unit providing humanitarian relief in disaster zones, as reported by the Times of Israel.
UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) classified the IDF as the first and only field hospital given a rating of “Type 3,” the highest possible grade for aid missions. Two years ago, the IDF was sent to Nepal following the earthquakes in April and May 2015 which killed around 9000 people. The medical team provided emergency care for families, executed complicated surgeries, and served as a proper hospital for the victims several months after the disaster.
Raising the Bar
Before 2012, several countries that brought medical aid to those in need during disasters were not well-equipped and did more harm than good to the victims. The WHO decided that to avoid more damage, they had to set up binding standards for all medical units that are sent to areas affected by calamities.
The scale for the field hospital ranking was set in 2013, authored by Dr. Ian Norton. This was to distinguish which medical units could perform better and behave ethically in disaster sites. “Only a handful in the world could even think of [achieving the top grade],” said Norton.
National Pride and Honor
There are nearly 200 teams who are eligible to serve on-site, but most of the groups only have Type 1 and Type 2 grades. The IDF remains the most reliable medical unit to date.
“Israel provided world aid to a great number of countries,” said Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Ofer Merin, the commander of the medical team. “We worked in Nepal, in the Philippines, in Japan and in Haiti. Four different countries inside of five years, to which Israel provided aid – this is great pride for the IDF and the country.
“It’s a proud moment for all the Jews around the world,” said Merin. “It’s a great moment for all of us, really. It’s a great moment.”
Photo source: The Times of Israel