In light of the steady increase in the number of wounded Syrians Israel has been treating, the IDF has set up a “military field hospital” at army outpost 105 in the Golan Heights, AFP reported Thursday.
Israeli officials confirmed that the hospital was set up to treat injured Syrians near the border fence and avoid having to evacuate them to hospitals inside the country.
In the past month, several Syrians who were injured in the fighting between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have been treated in northern Israel hospitals. According to AFP, eight of them were repatriated and three have remained in Israel for further treatment.
On Wednesday a number of injured Syrians made their way to the border with Israel. Two of the Syrians, who were critically wounded, were evacuated to Israeli hospitals with the authorization of IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
By Avigayil Kadesh
California-based Operation Rainbow has been sending medical teams to impoverished Latin American and Caribbean countries for more than 20 years. This past June (2012) was the first time two Israeli doctors joined one of the charitable organization’s missions, by invitation of one of the top US physicians in this specialty.
Dr. Mark Eidelman, director of the pediatric orthopedic department at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus, and Emek Medical Center senior orthopedic surgeon Dr. Noam Bor, were hand-picked for a mission to the southern Ecuadoran city of Loja in June. Over the course of four 14-hour days, they treated 33 young patients from neighboring villages.
By comparison, surgeons at Rambam — northern Israel’s largest hospital — perform five to 10 pediatric orthopedic surgeries every week.
Aside from a Colombian surgical fellow who also helped translate, the two Israelis were the only members of the 22-person team who were not from the United States. They were chosen by team leader Dr. John Herzenberg, a noted pediatric orthopedist at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital, under whose supervision each completed a fellowship in the past.
“It worked out very well. Our team was thrilled and the local doctors were thrilled,” says Operation Rainbow director Laura Escobosa. “This was the second time we’ve been to this particular hospital, and we like it because it’s an academic hospital where we can do a lot of teaching through lectures and practicals.”
Tons of medical equipment
Eidelman gave three lectures at one of two local university medical schools in the city of 165,000 people, and he did much more hands-on training while performing 13 surgeries.
“In Ecuador there are not many pediatric orthopedic surgeons, and in Loja there are none, so I taught local doctors,” he says.
Out of about 350 potential patients requesting treatment from the visiting physicians, doctors at the hospital chose 75 particularly serious cases. The 33 resulting surgeries were done on adults and children as young as five months old.
Seven of the operations he performed were to correct dislocated hips left untreated for years – a serious problem Eidelman has no opportunity to see in Israel, where medical care is more advanced.
Despite a grueling 27-hour trip each way, involving several stops and a four-hour bus ride, Eidelman says he was not hesitant to join the mission and would do it again. “For professional experience, I will go to any spot where they invite me,” he says. ”It was very good emotionally and professionally.”
The team of doctors, nurses and physical therapists also brought along two-and-a-half tons of medical equipment on behalf of Operation Rainbow, which Esobosa explains is a privately supported charity with no religious or political agenda.
A delegation from Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Green Development is hoping to take home practical lessons from a recent visit to Israel.
According to the Environmental Protection Ministry the Ulan-Bator mission visited Israel in late December as guests of the Environmental Protection and Foreign ministries.
The Mongolian delegates visited Israel with aim of learning from the Israeli expertise in the fields of water pollution management and prevention, and land rehabilitation.
The delegation met with officials from the Environmental Protection Ministry and from the Water Authority, as well as with representatives of companies that deal with land rehabilitation, biological treatment of contaminated soil, and treatment of other environmental woes.
The mission visited various sites across Israel, including the Shafdan Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Environmental Services Co., a government-owned company in Ramat Hovav, where they learned about innovative facilities for the treatment of organic waste and solid waste.
Mongolia has expressed great interest in forging collaborations with Israel on environmental issues, especially in the fields of air pollution and coping with desertification.
Mongolia has the lowest population density in the world, but the country is plagued by a variety of environmental challenges.
The effects of desertification and climate change have damaged the ability of its grazing animals to survive, and has prompted a mass migration of Mongolian residents from rural areas to the capital city of Ulan-Bator.
Today, 45% of the 2.75 million Mongolians live in the capital, which has registered a sharp increase in air pollution levels in recent years.
Will US President Barack Obama’s grandmother help warm up the chilly relations between her grandson and the Netanyahu government? Sarah Obama recently visited the Israeli hospital in Equatorial Guinea as part of a special delegation and had her eyes examined.
The hospital was established about 18 months ago in the capital of Malabo by businesspeople Yardena Ovadia and Arie Horesh. It employs more than 100 doctors, nurses, and staff members – all of whom are Israeli.
An Israeli flag flies at the entrance to the building, and all the medical equipment is from Israel. Even some of the signs in the facility are in Hebrew.
Equatorial Guinea’s president decided to name the hospital “Shalom,” explaining that he hoped Israel would make peace with its neighbors soon.
The Israeli hospital, which provides medical services to residents of the third world country, recently received a special visit from a delegation led by Equatorial Guinea’s health minister. The guest of honor was the leader of the free world’s grandmother, who lives in the remote village of Kogelo in Kenya.
Sarah Obama had hardly left the village for years, but since her grandson’s election in 2008 she has become an international celebrity. The decision to include her in the visit to the hospital was made by the Equatorial Guinean president.
Grandma Obama received the royal treatment from Ovadia and Horesh, hospital manager Dr. Michael Averbuch and the project’s architect, Ehud Gefen.
During the visit she had an eye examination, and doctors determined she was suffering from an eyesight problem.
At the end of the visit Sarah Obama told the staff, “Everyone in Africa is talking about your hospital and about the fact that we no longer have to fly to Europe for medical care.”
Businesswoman Yardena Ovadia said, “Grandma Obama is a charming personality, and it was very exciting having her here. We sent our regards to her grandson and invited him to visit as well.”
Daniel Carmon, head of Israel’s agency for international development, and Julian Fantino, Canada’s International Co-operation Minister, met in Ottawa Tuesday to sign the new agreement. Mr. Carmon said the deal will encourage the two countries to share strategies for international development and could lead to partnerships on specific projects.
“We have obligations as developed countries … to not sit idle and see people in the developing world suffer or not get the education or the health or the most basic human rights and other rights that every human being should receive,” he said.
The agreement comes after Israel earned a rare rebuke from some of its closest allies – including Canada – over its decision to build settlements east of Jerusalem. Canada previously backed Israel’s use of air strikes in Gaza last month and campaigned against a vote to give Palestine status as a non-member observer state at the United Nations. That vote passed 138 to nine, leaving Canada part of a minority of countries that voted with Israel.
Mr. Carmon said Israel “has a lot to contribute” to the world, but admitted that the country struggles to work through multilateral institutions like the United Nations, where he once served as a deputy ambassador for Israel.
“Israel has been maltreated in some multilateral fora,” he said. “Since it has been a very complicated arena for us, we have not been as active in this multilateral world for many years and we are sort of coming back to the stage in recent years. And we are very active and we are relying on our good friends.”
He said Israel is eager to share its expertise in research and innovation with developing countries, as well as its success in agriculture. Earlier this year, Canada and Israel agreed to increase co-operation on agriculture. They also have memorandums of understanding between their space agencies and on industrial research.
Canada and Israel each have similar international development agreements with several other countries. But while Canada has faced some criticism over its unwavering support for Israel, it still has a reputation as a good global citizen, something that could help boost Israel’s work in the developing world.
The Canadian International Development Agency declined to comment on the memorandum of understanding, and Mr. Fantino’s office had not responded to questions about the agreement by late Tuesday. But in an announcement circulated by the Israeli embassy, Mr. Fantino is quoted as saying the two countries share a “bond of friendship and are allies in the democratic family of countries.” He added that greater co-operation between CIDA and Mashav, Israel’s aid agency, will help those most in need and contribute to “a more secure and prosperous world.”
Mr. Carmon was in Ottawa to participate in a multi-day meeting of scientists and development experts hosted by Grand Challenges Canada, a federally funded group that works on global health, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr. Fantino announced CIDA would partner with Grand Challenges to bring more ideas for health innovation to the developing world. He also touted Canada’s contribution to maternal and child health through its landmark Muskoka Initiative and suggested the partnership would help build on Canada’s efforts.
Mr. Fantino has spent the last several weeks explaining, in a series of interviews and speeches,why and how CIDA plans to increase its engagement with the private sector, a move that has led to concerns that the agency is straying from its core poverty-reduction mandate.
He called innovation in health a “critical piece of the development puzzle” – one that can involve partners from a variety of sectors, including private companies.
“Innovative responses are needed that encompass new development approaches, new partnerships and enhanced research and development,” he said. “We need to encourage new ideas and new thinking.”
Source: Glove and Mail
Italians and Israelis are working together to eradicate Senegalese hunger and poverty in a trilateral agricultural development project formed between the governments in recent weeks.
An expansion of a project that the local Israeli Embassy launched in Senegal in 2006, the program aims to provide the country’s poorest farmers with the technological know-how for integrating irrigation technologies as well as the requisite management systems to keep them going, according to Prof.
Dov Pasternak, the visionary behind the program.
The bodies responsible for carrying out the program include the National Agricultural Research Institute of Italy, the National Agricultural Research Institute of Senegal, the Senegal Extension Service, the Senegal Project for Rural Development and MASHAV, through the Center for International Agriculture Development Cooperation (CINADCO).
Prior to expanding to a trilateral governmental project just a few weeks ago, the program was a branch of the larger pan-African Techno- Agriculture Innovation for Poverty Alleviation (TIPA) program – administered by MASHAV, the Foreign Ministry’s agency for international development cooperation.
Prior to being acquired by MASHAV, the program was called African Market Garden, developed by Ben- Gurion University’s Institutes for Applied Research in collaboration with the Netafim Company in 1999.
“This is an interesting successful model that can be duplicated with adjustments to many countries within the region,” said Ilan Fluss, the director of policy planning and external relations at MASHAV.
Fluss was speaking at a session on “Strategies for Development Assistance to or for Drylands” at Drylands, Deserts and Desertification – The Fourth International Conference: Implementing Rio+20 in the Drylands, held at Ben-Gurion University’s Sde Boker campus on Monday.
Senegal is located in the Sudano Sahel region south of the Sahara, which is delineated by the 300-800 millimeters of rainfall that it receives annually, according to Pasternak.
“It is also the poorest region on Earth,” he said.
The farmers predominantly use an agro-pastoral subsistence system, in which farmers grow grains and staple crops during the short rainy seasons and animals then graze on crop residues.
“People eat what they produce.
They sell very little,” Pasternak said. “They don’t have any resources. So when production fails, people go hungry.”
Without the means to purchase food and with ancient soils leeched of nutrients, the Senegalese small farmers need an irrigation solution that is practical for them, according to Pasternak. A drip irrigation system and its accessories act as the foundational “hardware” for this solution, with accompanying management packages serving as the “software,” he explained.
Under the African Market Garden and then under TIPA, farmers in Senegal piloted four different systems for irrigation – the first being the “thrifty system” that uses 200-liter barrels for irrigating an area of 80 square meters and the second being a “commercial system” that provides water through larger reservoirs to four 500 square meter units.
The first was deemed to have little economic advantage, and the second only proved useful among educated professional farmers, Pasternak said.
The third mechanism – a “cluster system” – involves a number of 500-1,000 square meter plots concentrated in one field, but with individual farmers operating their own plots, fertilizer tanks and taps. This system was particularly beneficial among male farmers, whom researchers found very difficult to organize into a solid team. On the other hand, a fourth “communal system” was effective among women, who thrived on having their own plots of land concentrated in one field but their irrigation monitored by an overarching manager, Pasternak explained. Already having formed solid community groups in many places throughout Africa, female farmers benefited from such a system where they worked together with each other and could even afford to take off time from their farms after giving birth, he added.
In all of Africa, there are currently 10 TIPA sites. In Senegal, two governmental organizations called ANIDA and PRODAM have already installed 900 hectares worth of drip irrigation systems for farmers, and an international NGO called World Vision is installing about 500 more hectares conforming to the TIPA model, Pasternak said.
A Millennium Village program is overseeing 1,000 additional hectares of TIPA projects in two regions of Senegal, and now this official trilateral government cooperation is guiding the formation of 400 hectares in three Senegalese regions, Pasternak explained.
“We are going to supply all the know-how,” he said, stressing that a service center will be at the heart of the program, in order to provide training, follow-up, demonstration and market support.
Integral to the program in Israel’s mind is not only assisting Senegalese farmers but also strengthening relations with Italy, Fluss said.
“This will hopefully become a model for trilateral cooperation between two donor countries and a developing country,” he added.
“Cooperation with Italy is really important and the discussions were extremely productive.”
To ensure that such a model is successful, however, he stressed the importance of tackling the challenges posed by adapting modern technologies to the needs of farmers in developing countries.
“The role of donor is taking the smallest, the poorest and even the medium-sized, show the technology, pay for this, using them as demonstration and then more or less through osmosis the technology spreads,” added Dr. Riccardo Morpurgo of the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry.
“And while it’s spreading, it is also modified.”
Most importantly, farmers must receive the know-how and then continue to have follow-up sessions and learn to employ effective management strategies, according to Pasternak.
“It looks like in the near future hundreds of thousands of farmers are going to benefit,” Pasternak said.