BBC report on Israeli field hospital in Nepal

It is always a pleasure to be able to note the appearance of accurate and impartial BBC produced content on Israel-related topics and just such reporting appeared on the BBC News website’s Asia page on May 1st in the form of a filmed report which was also shown on BBC television news.

The BBC’s Clive Myrie visited the IDF’s field hospital in Nepal and filed the following report.

The IDF field hospital has already treated more than a thousand patients and also in Nepal are a team of Israeli medical clowns and an IsraAID delegation which is offering medical care in more remote areas.   

BBC reporting on Israeli aid to Nepal earthquake

Some social media commentators have incorrectly claimed that the BBC has failed to report on Israeli aid to Nepal in the wake of the devastating earthquake in that country. 

In a report titled “Nepal earthquake: Death toll passes 1,000” published on the BBC News website on April 25th the BBC included Israel in its list of countries described as having pledged aid.

Nepal quake 1

Similar phrasing appeared under the sub-heading ‘Offers of aid” in an article titled “Nepal earthquake: Rescue effort intensifies” which appeared on April 26th.

Nepal quake 2

However, by the time that second report was published an Israeli reconnaissance team had already set out on the twelve-hour journey to Nepal.

“An Israeli plane carrying an advance search and rescue team and emergency medical supplies took off for Nepal early Sunday morning, as the death toll in the wake of a massive earthquake that shook the region climbed toward 1,400, officials said.

The Israel Defense Forces plane carrying seven search and rescue crew members and supplies took off just after midnight, Israel’s Army Radio reported.”

In addition, a team of Magen David Adom paramedics departed for Nepal on the morning of Sunday, April 26th.  

“Some 15 paramedics flew out this morning, while the organization was examining the possibility of sending out a larger team that could remain in the country for a longer period of time. […]

After the strong quake hit the area, Magen David Adom decided to send a delegation of doctors and paramedics, in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross. The team set out in a special plane equipped with medicine, medical supplies and baby food. They intend to stop at the Chabad House in Kathmandu, where many Israelis –both adults and infants – took refuge.

The team should remain in the country for at least two weeks, but the exact duration of their stay will be determined by the number of wounded individuals.”

Later on Sunday a larger IDF team will also travel to Nepal.

“A delegation numbering 260 medical and rescue crew members will depart on Sunday night (26 April) for Kathmandu. The delegation will focus on establishing a field hospital which will be operational within 12 hours, with the capability of treating 200 wounded a day. It will have two operating rooms, four intensive-care rooms, 80 hospital beds and specialists in neonatal and adult care. The team will include dozens of army physicians in the regular army and the reserves. Col. Dr. Tarif Bader, the army’s deputy chief medical officer, will be in charge of the field hospital.”

In addition to the field hospital, a search and rescue team will work in the affected area.Oketz

“Three large search and rescue teams will divide up into smaller crews and scour ruins to search for survivors. A command and control team will oversee the entire effort, and link up to local authorities. “At the moment, we are set to take off at 22:00 for Kathmandu,” Laredo added. […]

Rescuers are bringing with them cutting equipment, electronic devices to help find trapped victims, generators, lighting equipment, and more. […]

Three IDF Oketz K9 dogs and their handlers will also board one of the planes to Nepal.”

So, whilst the BBC’s description of the pledge of aid from Israel is accurate, it of course does not reflect the fact that practical steps have already been taken to turn that promise into action.

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