In a joint ceremony with their Nepali counterparts, the Israeli army officially closed its field hospital in Kathmandu on Sunday.
As of the weekend, IDF medical personnel had treated 1,427 victims of the devastating earthquake that hit the mountainous Asian nation last month, including 90 life-saving surgeries, six cesarean sections and two natural births.
“Let me express our sincere gratitude to the government of Israel and to the people of Israel for helping us in times of very critical hours for Nepal,” the country’s urban development minister, Narayan Khadka, said at the ceremony.
IDF engineers continue to collaborate with local authorities and have evaluated the stability of 295 public structures damaged in the earthquake, and IDF mental health officers continue to hold seminars for local education staff intended to help the population in their transition following the disaster.
The field hospital established in Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital, was the largest hospital ever erected by the IDF.
Among the doctors and advisers were five medical clowns sent from Israel.
“It’s to play with the kids, it’s to give them joy and to break the atmosphere of fear and stress,” said “Dush,” one of the clowns, late last week.
On Thursday, President Reuven Rivlin called to congratulate the medical staff at the field hospital.
“Dear delegation, dear commanders, rescuers — you are the pride of the country, all of you,” Rivlin said in a conversation broadcast to the team. “I have been following your impressive work from the moment you landed on Nepal’s shaky ground and I have you in my thoughts with both concern and pride. Your delegation embodies all the state’s universal values — giving, morality, loving every person for their sheer humanity.
The IDF on Sunday tweeted a clip showing in fast-motion the field hospital’s activity over 24 hours:
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 9, 2015