‘We’re here to help’ – Israeli doctors treat Brazilians in Amazon, slums

‘When they heard that doctors from Israel were coming over, they flocked here,’ said Dr. Ronit Almog, who led the delegation to Brazil.

By World Israel News Staff

A delegation of Israeli doctors recently visited Brazil, treating rural communities in the Amazon rainforest and people living in the favelas (slums) in major cities.

The mission was headed by Dr. Ronit Almog, a gynecologist and the head of Tel Aviv-based Ichilov Hospital’s Bringing Life to the World Project, which aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality in developing countries.

Prof. Tamar Safra, director of the Center for Women’s Cancer at Ichilov hospital; Prof. Ronella Marom, Pediatrics Specialist and director of Ichilov’s Neonatal Department; gynecologist Dr. Ran Nagar and anesthesiologist Dr. Haim Greenberger participated in the mission.

The doctors first began seeing patients in Rio des Padres, an impoverished favela within Rio de Janeiro, the second most populous city in Brazil.

“We’re here to help the destitute, who live in extremely crowded conditions with no sense of security,” Almog told Ynet. “People are afraid to walk the street, and the option of advanced medical care is non-existent. When they heard that doctors from Israel were coming over, they flocked here.”

After seeing several hundred patients in the urban neighborhood, the doctors sailed along the Amazon River to four remote communities in the middle of the rainforest, treating locals at each stop.

“Most of the women who come here have specific problems that are related to them or their children,” Almog told Ynet. The doctors treat the issues, then offer the women “tests to detect breast cancer or cervical cancer, because routine tests are almost non-existent here.”

The doctors transformed rooms within the ship into temporary medical facilities for patients who required more advanced treatment, with each specialist commandeering space aboard for their patients.

“No matter how much you treat people, there will always be thousands of others who will not receive treatment, mainly because of the unavailability of clinics, doctors or equipment,” Almog said.

“But even if what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, it’s a drop and then another drop and another drop. In the end, it becomes a small sea.”

Israeli Ambassador to Brazil Daniel Zonshine told Ynet that the doctors’ visit had a positive impact on the average Brazilian’s view of the Jewish state.

“The local media here covered the work of the doctors all throughout the mission, and the public was exposed to the beautiful face of our country,” he said.

The post ‘We’re here to help’ – Israeli doctors treat Brazilians in Amazon, slums appeared first on World Israel News.

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