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MENAFN - Arab News - 14/08/2006

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JEDDAH, 14 August 2006 — The Saudi Field Hospital in Beirut, which was set up soon after the latest Israeli military campaign against Lebanon, has won international applause for its humanitarian services by providing treatment to more than 3,000 Lebanese men, women and children wounded by Israeli gunfire.

The hospital is part of Saudi Arabia's ongoing humanitarian assistance to the people of Lebanon, reeling under the Israeli aggression. Lebanese Health Minister Muhammad Jawad Khalifa, accompanied by Saudi Ambassador Dr. Abdul Aziz ibn Mohiuddin Khoja, toured the hospital recently and commended its role in alleviating the suffering of the Lebanese people.

The doctors and paramedical staff deployed in Beirut represent the Saudi Ministries of Health, and Defense and Aviation; the National Guard and the Saudi Red Crescent Society. Supervised by the Saudi Red Crescent Society, the hospital is well equipped to conduct both minor and major operations, and includes laboratories as well as ambulances.

Saudi authorities recently strengthened the hospital's medical staff by sending an additional force of 18 physicians, 15 male nurses, 12 pharmacists, five emergency technicians, eight X-ray technicians and three lab technicians.

The field hospital was transported to Beirut using 20 trucks. Established in the museum area in the center of the Lebanese capital, the hospital offers facilities ranging from operating rooms to an intensive care unit and rooms for psychiatrists, gynecologists and family care. The hospital has a grant for 10 million and will remain in Lebanon as long as it is needed.

"Civilians who leave usually leave quickly, often forgetting their daily medications," said Dr. Saif Abu Zaid, team leader of the Saudi Red Crescent team to Lebanon. "We hope to help those civilians and make this a one-day hospital and take pressure off other hospitals to provide the daily medicines," he added.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah announced a massive aid package last month to help Lebanon cope with the devastating Israeli military campaign, launched on July 12, which has killed hundreds and smashed the country's infrastructure.

The king pledged a 500 million grant for the reconstruction of Lebanon. He also promised to deposit 1 billion in the Central Bank of Lebanon to help stabilize the country's currency. Saudi individuals and companies have offered to treat 500 Lebanese wounded in the Israeli attacks.

Since last week, the Kingdom has been sending emergency relief supplies worth in excess of SR21.37 million to the Lebanese people. Dr. Saeed Al-Harithy, chairman of the Popular Committee for the Relief of Lebanon, said the organization had allocated SR17.62 million for foodstuffs and SR3.75 million for medicines and medical supplies, the Saudi Press Agency said.

"The committee has begun its relief program for the Lebanese people by sending emergency supplies such as food, medical supplies, water bottles, blankets and sheets and meeting the needs of children in cooperation with Lebanese and international organizations," said Al-Harithy.

He said the committee would continue to collect donations for the Lebanese victims of the Israeli onslaught and urged donors to deposit their money in Account No. 567 at National Commercial Bank. He said the committee would supply foodstuffs worth SR6.37 million among the displaced Lebanese people.


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