Association of Medical Doctors of ASIA, founded in 1984, Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC since 1995

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​AMDA Emergency Relief #06: Earthquakes in Türkiye

Publication date:2023-02-28
 
AMDA’s team of aid workers has been working in Adiyaman since 19 February. Although the team learned that there were two public hospitals (one of which specializes in obstetrics), one university hospital, and two private clinics in the region, the public hospitals and private clinics were out of service after the quakes. 

As mentioned in the previous bulletin, substitute doctors have been sent in from Istanbul and other places to fulfill the lack of manpower in the area. Especially, doctors from Adiyaman, Adana, Şanlıurfa, and Diyarbakır are separated into four groups to go around the Adiyaman area and see if anyone needs assistance. 

This time, AMDA accompanied one of the teams on their daily rounds. Together with the team (comprising five members which included one Adiyaman doctor and one nurse), AMDA visited two of the most damaged villages, namely, Olukul and Ahmethoca.

Upon arrival, the joint team paid a visit to each home to treat residents who complained of injuries, headaches, and nausea. Local medical workers were also there to support them. Turkish medical staff seemed to be good listeners, and never resorted to just taking care of the physical side of the patients. They were attentive to stories the residents needed to share. “My house itself and the stuff inside were okay even the quake hit,” one of the villagers said. “I accept this plight as my fate, but losing someone close was indeed heart-breaking.” 

A Turkish doctor explained that it was important to let the residents vent their stress through a casual chit-chat. “Distributing medicine and relief items is one thing for sure, but by engaging the villagers in conversation everyday, we are trying to prevent suicides when everybody is feeling down,” the doctor said.

When the team was about to leave the site, they found “Thank you” written in Turkish, English, and Kurdish on the back of their van.
 

The next day, AMDA’s relief team went around each evacuation tent that spread around the city of Adiyaman to check the health condition of evacuees. Among the eight patients they saw, many had badly dry skin and injuries. The team also saw a patient who had high blood pressure with a bloated neck and hands. Initially, the family of the patient said the symptoms “weren’t as serious as going to hospitals.” However, an AMDA doctor gave a massage and advised the patient to roll one’s shoulders, continue taking medicine, and seek proper medical help at a hospital. The patient seemed happy after the massage.

Other patients included a local resident who had the common cold and sore throat. The patient explained that the symptoms started after changing a heater from gas to a wood-burning one. The AMDA doctor advised the patient to wash one’s hands thoroughly as a precaution against the cold and pneumonia, and made sure to wear a mask when going to the dusty part of the town.
 

The evacuees were basically taking shelter either in tents which they owned or those provided by Turkish disaster management authority AFAD. Since some of the tents were seen with people being crammed into a closed space, it is said that the Turkish government will be replacing them with container homes in the course of time. 

 
    •  GPSP Multi-National Medical Mission (Peace Building)
    •  Turkey
    •  2023
    •  ER & Reconstruction

 
 
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