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Scenes from the ground in Nepal

Posted By : Leah Breevoort April 27, 2015

Ravit Martinez, an MDA paramedic, landed in Nepal on Sunday morning with the MDA team, which was the first disaster-relief team from Israel to arrive. Here’s her firsthand account of what she is experiencing on the ground in Kathmandu, the capital city devastated by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Saturday.

MDA paramedic Ravit Martinez tending to an elderly man at the military hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.

MDA paramedic Ravit Martinez tending to an elderly man at the military hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.

“Yesterday, when we landed, it was quite chaotic. Everything was dark because there’s no electricity in sections of the city, but we could see that many houses were in complete ruin. The place looked like a giant tent city because people are sleeping in the streets as they’re afraid of aftershocks. The water, however, is running, which is a big help in averting a more serious humanitarian crisis. We visited two hospitals and met with doctors. There are many injured people waiting for operations, but there aren’t enough operating rooms. They have some supplies for now, but they’ll soon desperately need bandages and other surgical supplies.

An MDA paramedic is helping transport an injured child.

An MDA paramedic is helping transport an injured child.

“There is a tent outside with all the patients. We treated children with abdominal and chest injuries and lots of lacerations that required stitches, not unlike the types of injuries we saw in Haiti [when MDA was there after that country’s earthquake in 2010]. Conditions are not sanitary here after the quake, but we’re trying our best to help them.

“Long-term, the fact that everyone is sleeping outside is going to be problematic because it isn’t something you can do — live outside for a long time — but they don’t really have a choice.

MDA paramedics are assessing patients needs and providing basic medical aid.

MDA paramedics are assessing patients needs and providing basic medical aid.

“Our purpose here is twofold — to treat [visiting] Israelis, most of whom weren’t seriously injured, and to see to the medical needs of the local Nepalese, who are clearly in more dire need in the aftermath of this quake.”

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