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October 19, 2014 1:41 pm

Israeli Hospitals Set Up Ebola Wards, as Country Prepares for Possible Cases From African Travelers (VIDEO)

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Rambam Medical Center staff training to care for Ebola-stricken patients.  Photo: Rambam

Rambam Medical Center staff training to care for Ebola-stricken patients. Photo: Rambam

Haifa’s Rambam medical center announced Sunday that it has set up a ward containing three isolation tents for dealing with patients diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus.

Israel’s Ministry of Health recently ordered the establishment of two national centers, one at the northern port city, and the second at the Sheba medical center, near Tel Aviv, for receiving patients suspected of carrying the disease.

Nurses at Rambam’s Department of Infectious Disease have undergone training to work with the unique tents, which contain special low-pressure devices to keep the virus from spreading beyond the confines of the clear plastic rig.

“The Health Ministry chose Rambam Health Care Campus as the facility of choice to care for those suspected of the disease from Netanya and north; Sheba Hospital will care for patients from Netanya and south,” according to Rambam Director-General, Prof. Rafi Beyar.

“We have decided to place the special isolation tents in the lower level of the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital. The location there makes it possible to isolate patients relatively far from other departments. In addition, due to our emergency preparedness, this facility has all of the electricity, communication lines, suction, and oxygen connections needed in a standard hospital,” Beyar said.

The special tents were produced by the “Bethel” factory in nearby Zichron Yaakov. The factory also produces the majority of protective equipment against chemical warfare that is installed in private Israeli homes and institutions, the hospital said.

Ebola poster at Ben-Gurion airport. Photo:

Ebola poster at Ben-Gurion airport. Photo:

On Friday, Israel held a test screening of arriving passengers at Ben-Gurion Airport, in accordance with the directives from two previous special meetings held in recent weeks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and medical, border, and administrative agencies.

In a meeting held last Sunday, the Israeli government decided to tighten the screening of people entering Israel from countries most prone to Ebola: Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

The decision stipulates that every individual entering Israel from those countries by air, land, or sea will be screened with a questionnaire.

“The State of Israel is preparing to do everything possible to prevent Ebola patients from entering its territory,” Netanyahu said, according to Israel Hayom.

On October, 5, MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, announced that Israel was sending three mobile emergency clinics to areas in western Africa where there is a high risk of infection with Ebola.

“In response to requests by many governments, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as Israeli and international aid organizations, the Foreign Ministry has decided to increase Israel’s contribution to the international effort to prevent the spreading of the Ebola epidemic,” according to the ministry.

The Israeli-made portable clinics, were built according to WHO standards for treating Ebola, according to the ministry. Additionally, each clinic will include an expert medical team that will train local practitioners how to use the clinic and its equipment.

Ebola drill at Ben-Gurion airport. Photo Ch2 News

Ebola drill at Ben-Gurion airport. Photo Ch2 News

“Staff training will focus on preventing the spread of the disease and raising awareness among populations with high potential for infection.”

An Israeli medical team is on the ground in Cameroon, the MFA said, adding that the government also sent emergency equipment to the government of Sierra Leone, and in recent weeks shipped personal protection equipment to teams of the African Union.

Watch a brief video clip (silent) of hospital medical staff being introduced to the isolettes:

[iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”//” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]

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