Members of the MDA delegation made contact immediately on their arrival in Katmandu with the Chabad representatives and the Israeli Embassy and provided treatment to the Israeli babies at the scene and to local wounded people* Assaf Chen, an MDA Paramedic who is in Katmandu: "I am determined to continue and to help the people here. I will stay here and represent MDA whilst joining up with the local Red Cross personnel".
The medical rescue delegation of MDA under the leadership of the Director General, Eli Bin, which included doctors and senior paramedics left within a few hours of the occurrence of the disaster in Nepal. Members of the delegation estimated the medical needs, were busy with trying to trace those with whom contact had been lost, helped the wounded and the teams in the Emergency Rooms of the hospitals, and were busy helping the Israeli babies and their parents. When the IDF rescue delegation arrived together with MDA paramedics serving in the reserves, the MDA personnel gave them the relevant information and facts about the Israelis in the area. Some of the members of the delegation accompanied the premature babies and their parents in a special plane which flew them to Israel and part of the MDA delegation remained behind to help as part of the MDA-Red Cross-Israeli teams together with additional representatives from the Red Cross who arrived in Nepal from all over the world.
The members of the delegation who accompanied the babies and returned to Israel recalled:
Member of the delegation, Director of the MDA Medical Division, Dr. Rafi Strugo : We landed on Sunday evening after dark. Of course there was terrible chaos there. There were a lot of people in the terminal who were looking for a way to get out of the country. What stood out the most on the journey from the airport to the Israeli Embassy in Katmandu were the hundreds of thousands of people in the streets who were sleeping in tents and sleeping bags.
People were frightened by the various secondary quakes and therefore they remained outdoors and in the streets. When we met Israelis who were uncertain and unsure about what would happen we gave them a lot of support and encouragement, we fed the newborn babies and changed their diapers and helped them. A pediatrician came with us in the delegation and we sent him to two places where the babies had been concentrated so that he could carry out medical tests and calm the parents down. The next morning the plane with the children took off and then we were free to help the local teams. We joined up with teams of Nepalese doctors and helped them treat the local wounded. There is a great shortage of operating rooms and all over the city there was only one operating theatre which was expected to give a response to hundreds of people".
Dr. Strugo may be interviewed on telephone 052-6139003
The leader of the MDA delegation, Chief MDA Paramedic, Rami Miller: "We helped the Nepalese doctors and there was strong cooperation between us whilst treating the many wounded who arrived in a constant stream. At the same time there were more than 500 injured people in the hospital and every few minutes more wounded people arrived. We helped the Nepalese teams and gave medical treatment to the wounded
. We hope that this aid helped all those wounded whose medical condition then improved".
The leader of the MDA delegation, MDA Paramedic Rami Miller may be interviewed on telephone 052-3696427.
Member of the delegation, MDA Paramedic Ilan Klein: "It is hard to describe the enormity of the disaster which has stricken Nepal. The number of wounded and dead is inconceivable. As part of the humanitarian activities of MDA as the Israeli Red Cross Society, we helped as much as possible and contributed from our knowledge and tremendous experience gained in MDA whilst saving lives in areas hit by disaster. It is a great honour for me to help every Israeli who is in trouble wherever he may be in the world. We spent a long time in the military hospital in Nepal and helped to treat the most severely injured people from the earthquake. Over and above the medical treatment we also tried to give mental support to the wounded and an amazing feeling of connection was formed and proved how good cooperation can bring about amazing results. The MDA delegation was received warmly by the people of Chabad House, and Rabbi Hezki Lipschitz and his wife who manage the place; they helped us in a wonderful way with all our needs".
Member of the delegation, MDA Paramedic Ilan Klein may be interviewed on telephone 052-4764521.
Member of the delegation, MDA Paramedic Tal Rabin: "When we arrived in Katmandu, the members of the delegation split up and I was sent to treat the Israelis in the courtyard of the Embassy. We found hundreds of Israeli hikers there in tents on the grass and a lot of uncertainty amongst them. The parents of the babies were very concerned about the severe conditions. They were in damp tents without any cover from the rain or protection from the cold. Immediately we came and checked that all the babies were in a stable condition. We got very close to the families and the fathers of the babies and remained with them until they returned home to Israel. At the same time as treating the Israelis we also went to help treat the wounded in the local hospitals. I treated a ten year old girl who had been buried under debris and was rescued from amongst the rubble of her home after the house had collapsed during the earthquake. The child was suffering from crushing wounds and fractures on both sides of her skull. To see such a number of children in this situation is very difficult".
Member of the delegation, MDA Paramedic Tal Rabin may be interviewed on telephone 054-5833544.
Member of the delegation, MDA Paramedic Roman Belman: "One of the main tasks facing us was to treat and take care of the Israelis until their return home to Israel, healthy and well, and that filled our hearts with pride. Whilst there, from the moment of our arrival, we went out into the field and began to search in all the local hospitals to see if there were any Israelis being treated or hospitalized there. In cooperation with the Embassy we were successful in tracing a number of people with whom all contact had been lost. The sights were difficult. A large number of buildings had collapsed and were destroyed and as a result of the situation in the area they had not even began to remove the rubble. The estimates are that there are about half a million homeless people in Nepal whose houses have been destroyed. The sight of hundreds of thousands of people in the streets with no roof over their heads is very sad".
MDA Paramedic Roman Belman may be interviewed on telephone 052-7995545 .
Member of the delegation, MDA Paramedic Ravit Martinez Amitai: For me as a paramedic it was terribly depressing to see so many people in need of medical treatment and there is no possibility to give reasonable medical treatment to all of them. Since there were a very large number of wounded and the medical equipment in the local hospitals was not sufficient, I was forced to stitch up cuts and wounds without any anesthetic injection. There were not enough rooms, the equipment and medication was scarce. The meeting with the Israelis was very emotional. We help them as much as we could and mainly were concerned about the wellbeing of the babies. The temperatures were very low and it was raining hard. We tried to warm up the Israeli babies with our own bodies so that they would not freeze from the cold".
MDA Paramedic, Ravit Martinez Amitai may be interviewed on telephone 052-7995335.
Dr. Eran Mashiach, a doctor in the MDA Delegation in Katmandu: "When we arrived our first priority was to meet up with the Israeli babies there. On our arrival we went from hospital to hospital, to the hotels and the Embassy in order to trace all the babies and we managed to give all the Israeli babies aid and attention and to ensure their return to Israel. At the moment there are no Israelis at the Embassy. The military hospital has started functioning and we, as representatives of MDA � the Israeli Red Cross � are helping the local Red Cross to open field hospitals in the more distant areas which were seriously affected by the disaster".
The doctor in the MDA Delegation in Katmandu, Dr. Eran Mashiach may be interviewed on telephone 050-4057336 .
Assaf Chen, MDA Paramedic in Katmandu : I am determined to continue and help the people here. I will stay here and represent MDA whilst joining up with the Red Cross personnel here. There is no electricity or water in most places in Katmandu. At night there is total darkness and people lying in the streets under nylon sheeting. Rain falls all night and the main problem is that people are afraid to return to their homes and so they sleep in the streets".
MDA Paramedic Assaf Chen in Katmandu may be interviewed on telephone 052-4643771 or on local phone 9770214221344690 .
MDA Director General, Eli Bin, who lead the MDA delegation to Katmandu and who returned to Israel with the first group of babies: "The main task we had was to save lives. We managed to get to the Israelis in Katamandu quickly and to make sure that whoever needed medical attention would receive the best possible care, and to help the newborn babies and their parents who were in trouble and did not know what to do because of the damage caused by the earthquake, and to ensure their flights back to Israel. When we arrived emotions were running high and the conditions at the scene were very difficult. In the first moments it was truly difficult to get an exact picture of the situation and to know how many Israelis were injured and missing and what their medical condition was. We were busy trying to trace the Israelis with whom contact had been lost. Side by side with these tasks we joined up with the local medical teams and the Red Cross teams in order to give medical and humanitarian aid to the wounded who arrived at the hospitals in Katmandu. Over and above providing medical treatment to the Israelis, we found ourselves helping wherever possible, starting with changing diapers on the babies, and since there were no ground services at the airport we even helped load the cases of the parents and families onto the plane.
The State of Israel and those who lead it came forward and helped Magen David Adom to send an MDA delegation which arrived as the first civilian delegation within the shortest time possible to Katmandu. As the person who stands at the head of Magen David Adom I am always overwhelmed anew at the enlistment without any hesitations of all the organizations to help each and every Israeli who is in danger abroad. The fact that every Israeli knows that the State of Israel will do all within its power to help him under such circumstances is of the greatest importance and this does not exist in many of the countries around the world and this is exactly the meaning of "And you shall love your neighbor as yourself". Magen David Adom, as the national rescue organization of Israel and the Israeli branch of the Red Cross feels obliged and honoured to reach every Israeli who may need help wherever he may be across the globe as quickly and efficiently as possible.
MDA teams worked and are working in full cooperation with the government offices, the IDF, the International and local Red Cross and the insurance companies. Successful cooperation between all the organizations is an important factor in the success of the operation".