Israeli medical team heads to Haiti to help burn victims

PORT AU PRINCE – The Director of Israel’s National Burn Centre at the Sheba Medical Centre, Professor Josef Haik arrived in Haiti earlier this week to help patients who were badly injured when a fuel tanker crashed in the north of the country last December.

Last December 14, a fuel tank truck crashed and then exploded, killing more than 65 people and burning dozens of others as residents rushed to collect the leaking gas.

Haik is leading the mission in cooperation with the United States Burn Advocates Network (BAN) to the hospitals in Haiti that are still overwhelmed with the wounded.

Prior to departing Israel, Haik said the team was prepared to help as many burn victims as possible.

“Unfortunately, a few months ago they had a big fire disaster, and they still have injured patients that we need to treat,” he said.

“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, previously brought his expertise to Haiti in February 2020.

It was the 10th anniversary of the earthquake that devastated the country 10 years earlier, and 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 countries such as Ukraine, Romania, Cameroon, Congo, and Guatemala.


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