A nine-member Japanese medical delegation of researchers, physicians and public health experts, which included the CEO of the governmental Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), visited Israel in late February to learn from colleagues about emergency preparedness.

The trip afforded the Japanese experts “a great deal of new knowledge,” Tatsuhiko Kubo, a professor in Hiroshima University’s public-health department, stated in a release. “The visit was excellent and we wish to maintain this relationship,” he said.

Meetings like this allow colleagues to learn from each other’s experiences, stated Eilat Shanar, deputy director general of blood services at Magen David Adom (MDA). “We learned a lot from the lectures and methods of operation presented by the members of the Japanese delegation,” she said.

Shanar and Israeli colleagues shared Magen David Adom’s “ extensive experience” as “Israel’s National Rescue Organization in responding to emergency situations in Israel and especially to multi-casualty incidents.”

The Japanese delegation was specifically interested in MDA’s Blood Services Center in Ramla, which was “built to ensure the safety and security of the blood supplies along with the safety of the workers in various emergency situations,” stated Shanar.

Israel’s health and foreign affairs ministries collaborated on the trip, which included site visits to MDA’s national operations center in Kiryat Ono and the Ramla blood bank. At the latter, a joint Israeli-Japanese disaster and emergency-risk management conference—in its third iteration—was broadcast live to hundreds of senior Israeli health officials. Talks were given by MDA, the health ministry and visiting Japanese speakers.


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