During the afternoon of March 7th, 2021, a series of explosions rocked Bata, the largest city in Equatorial Guinea. With over 600 injured, the local hospitals were overwhelmed.
Learning of the disaster, Israel quickly assembled an aid delegation, with Sheba Medical Center intensive care physicians, pediatricians, and other specialists serving as its medical personnel.
Ever committed to the Sheba motto: ‘Hope Without Boundaries,’ our physicians are used to globetrotting medical operations and quickly settled into the task at hand. After treating dozens of people, they returned to Israel – but they did not do so alone – and took 7 of their patients with them back to Sheba for further treatment.
41-year-old Andres arrived at Sheba almost completely blind. Three surgeries later, and he is now able to handle most day-to-day tasks on his own.
On the day of the explosions, Lucrecia was sitting in front of her house. Though she did her best to escape the blast, debris badly mangled her left leg, requiring an amputation. After undergoing orthopedic rehabilitation at Sheba, Lucrecia now has a bespoke prosthetic, and can get back to her life with almost full functionality. It was a similar story for 42-year-old Maria, who lost her right arm in the blast and received an advanced prosthetic at Sheba.
In Elvira’s case, the explosions caused severe burns. After her initial treatment at Sheba, Elvira underwent a skin graft, which was also the case for 40-year-old Filomena, who arrived at Sheba with a large hip wound.
For Veneranda, 33, the blast’s toll was severe burns and a broken arm. After receiving initial treatment locally, Veneranda was fitted with a new, more comfortable cast at Sheba, and later underwent laser therapy to help heal the many scars from the injuries she sustained.
Young Anselmo, only seven years of age, was found buried under the rubble of his own house, which collapsed due to the explosions. He suffered severe contusions to his head and a depressed fracture that was removed at a local hospital – leaving a hole in the front of his skull. At Sheba, Anselmo underwent a cranioplasty under the supervision of Dr. Jacob Zauberman to rebuild his skull, followed by advanced laser plastic surgery supervised by Dr. Moti Harats to help mediate the aesthetic effects of his injuries. Happily, the complex procedures were completed successfully.
Fast forward to the present, Sheba was recently honored to host Mr. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, who visited his injured countrymen and expressed satisfaction with their treatment. In a meeting held soon after, Vice President Obiang Mangue thanked Sheba’s medical staff and conveyed his hope for continued cooperation between Sheba and Equatorial Guinea.
Having undergone treatment at Sheba, all seven Equatorial Guineans, who are set to soon return to their home country, have expressed their gratitude for the expert medical care that, they say, isn’t available in their homeland.
As part of our commitment to providing hope without boundaries, Sheba Medical Center will continue to operate around the world in a bid to help all those in need of assistance.