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








AMDA Emergency Relief #10: Earthquakes in T端rkiye

Publication date:2023-03-09
On 1 and 2 March, accompanied by Turkish medical professionals, AMDA’s relief team visited three villages in Adiyaman to assess the health condition of local residents.  

During the two-day stint, the team saw a total of 27 patients. As most of their symptoms were to do with the common cold, medicine was prescribed as needed. (Local doctors’ associations helped provide the drugs.)

In the case of a big family of 30 people, every one of them had a cold as the entire family was taking shelter in one same tent. After providing relief supplies such as soap and shampoo, the team advised the family to keep the place ventilated.

Among other patients the team saw were those that relocated themselves to suburban villages from the city area. 

However, moving from one place to another seemed especially stressful for minors. For instance, there was a three-year-old child who had a fever and a stomach ache. According to the parents, the child seemed to have been put under a lot of stress from the relocation, while being forced to spend time with many other evacuees.

An AMDA doctor explained to the parents that although the symptoms were largely due to stress, they did not have to worry so much since the way they treated their child seemed appropriate. 

The doctor also added that it was important to continue caring for the child mentally, as disaster-related memories could linger on for several years.

Meanwhile, the team also saw many patients with hypertension and diabetes. Since the quakes had made it difficult for them to go to hospitals, they were relieved to have their blood pressure and blood sugar levels checked.

The AMDA doctor told the patients that chronic diseases may worsen at the time of disasters since stress levels could get much higher compared to normal circumstances. “It is important to have one’s health condition checked before it gets worse,” he said. “Getting rid of anxieties and giving patients appropriate advice is essential.”

Engaging with Turkish children:

One of the noteworthy events that took place during this relief mission was the remote exchange that was held on 3 March between 18 Turkish children in the affected village of Durak and 10 middle school students in Japan. Using a video phone, the two parties asked questions to each other. 

The Japanese students seemed to be fascinated by the fact that the Turkish children introduced themselves in Japanese which they had learned in advance. 

While the Turkish children asked questions regarding how to respond to earthquakes, or about the Japanese education system, the Japanese students asked what play activities were popular among children in Türkiye or what concerns or problems the Turkish children had as of now.

The exchange lasted nearly an hour. Responding to the words of encouragement from the Japanese students, the Turkish children said “Thank you (arigato)” in Japanese.

Likewise, at the village of Koru, which the team visited the next day (4 March), the team spent some time with local children (about 15 of them) besides handling usual health check-ups and item distribution. The children were happy to receive origami balloons, which AMDA nurses made for them.

Locals offering support to the team:

The soap and shampoo which the AMDA team has been providing to evacuees are basically procured at local stores to help sustain the regional economy. However, shop owners have been helping the team as well by giving a discount or better deals after learning that they came all the way from Japan.

At one store where the team dropped by on 2 March, the owner refused to accept money for the sweets they tried to buy for children in affected villages. The owner tearfully thanked the team for their relief effort, and even gave them extra candy, as the owner personally wanted to offer something to children during this difficult time.

The next day, after providing the sweets to children in Durak, the team stopped by the store to thank the owner and show photos of the smiling children. Pleased that they looked happy, tears welled up in the owner’s eyes once again.

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