Israeli medical team heads to Haiti to treat burn victims – ISRAEL21c

On December 14, 2021, a fuel tank truck crashed in the Samari neighborhood of Cap-Haïtien in northern Haiti. It then exploded, killing more than 65 people and burning dozens of others when residents rushed to collect the leaking gas, a commodity in severely short supply.
Hospitals in Haiti are still overwhelmed with the wounded. This week, expert medical help arrived from Israel – some coming directly from serving in Israel’s field hospital in Ukraine.
Prof. Josef Haik, director of Israel’s National Burn Center at Sheba Medical Center, is leading the mission in cooperation with the US-based Burn Advocates Network (BAN).
“Unfortunately a few months ago they had a big fire disaster and they still have injured patients that we need to treat,” Haik said as he departed on April 3.
“We’re going to do as many surgeries as we can to try and help their wounds. We will [also] bring equipment they are lacking and teach them how to use it and leave it there so they can continue rehabilitating Haiti.”
Haik, who also heads Sheba’s division of plastic surgery and is a professor at Tel Aviv University, has brought his expertise to Haiti before.
In February 2020, on the 10th anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, Haik led an international team of burn surgeons, sponsored by BAN, to set up the first pediatric laser for treating disfiguring burn scars in children at Sacre Coeur Hospital in Milot.
Haik has often undertaken humanitarian medical missions in places such as Romania, Cameroon, Congo and Guatemala.
Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a major daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.


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