Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande on Tuesday said the force is proud of its medical team for rendering humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to quake-hit Turkiye, and asserted that the mobilisation of a field hospital in short time indicates the team's excellent operational preparedness.
He said this after interacting with members of the Indian Army's medical team that has returned to the country after rendering extensive services to a large number of earthquake-hit people in Turkiye's Iskenderun region.
The event was hosted at Nalanda Auditorium on the premises of the Army Base Hospital at Delhi Cantonment.
"We are proud of our medical team for rendering humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to quake-hit people in Turkiye," Gen Pande said.
The field hospital treated about 3,600 people, conducted numerous major and minor surgeries, including one amputated and life-saving surgery, he said.
"The hospital was mobilised at a short notice of six hours, and they moved to Turkiye, and they landed there at Adana airfield on February 8 and within a short period of time, the Indian Army medical team established 30-bed field hospital at Iskenderun in Hatay region," Gen Pande told reporters.
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"It was the timely decision and excellent inter-agency coordination among all stakeholders, due to which they were among the first few medical teams to reach Turkiye," he said.
India launched 'Operation Dost' to extend assistance to Turkiye as well as Syria after various parts of the two countries were hit by a devastating earthquake on February 6 that has killed over 30,000 people.
"#IndianArmy Medical Facility at Iskenderun, Hatay, concluded their services amidst gratitude and applause from the locals. The team of 60 Para Field Hospital will be returning to #India after their selfless efforts in earthquake affected #Trkiye," the Army had earlier tweeted.
The medical team provided assistance to quake-affected people in Turkiye from February 7-19.
"Mobilisation of field hospital in such short time in Turkiye also indicates the excellent operational preparedness they maintain at all time," Gen Pande said.
Our medical team is extremely appreciative of the assistance and cooperation extended to them by Turkish citizens, he said.
A special cake carrying the image of the Army's medical team in Turkiye was also cut on the occasion.
On Monday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had tweeted, "The @adgpi medical team deployed under #OperationDost in Trkiye touches down in India. The 99-member self-contained team successfully set up and ran a fully equipped 30-bedded Field Hospital in Iskenderun, Hatay, attending to nearly 4000 patients round the clock."
He had also shared a few pictures of the medical team.
India sent relief materials as well as medical and rescue teams to Turkiye following the quake. As part of quake assistance, India also sent relief materials and medicines to Syria.
The Ministry of Defence in a statement on Monday had said that the Indian disaster relief team, comprising 99 personnel of Indian Army Field Hospital and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) returned home on February 20, after putting in a "stupendous effort" to provide medical relief to disaster victims in Hatya Province of Turkiye, hit by earthquake.
The effort has been applauded both at the national and international levels, it said.
"The Indian Army Field Hospital has treated 3,604 casualties, providing emergency medical care and performing four major surgeries, 63 minor surgeries, 343 minor procedures including 87 POP (Plaster of Paris) applications for fixing fractures," the statement said.
The medical team comprising 99 personnel, including various specialist medical officers and paramedics, established their field hospital at Iskenderun in Hatay Province, Turkiye on February 8, which included a fully functional operational theatre and trauma care centre, it said.
The specialists include medical specialist, surgical specialists, anaesthetists, orthopaedicians, maxillofacial surgeon and community medicine specialist for rendering medical assistance to earthquake victims. Besides, a woman medical officer was also sent for rendering medical care to women patients, the statement said.
In addition, the field hospital provided dental treatment to 242 patients, carrying out 283 precautionary X-rays on trauma victims. Also, 1,159 lab investigations were carried out on the cases reported for treatment, it added.
Replenishment to the field hospital has been provided by Indian Army in the form of medical and surgical bricks as well as orthopaedic equipment. The team also set up a reception desk for receiving donations and distribution to the needy, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, a fresh 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Turkiye and Syria on Monday.
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