SAFAKNA TURKEY – As the quakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 in Kahramanmaras continued to reverberate, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a strong warning. With its statement, WHO drew attention to the “epidemic” danger for the earthquake zone.
After the earthquake, which epicentered Pazardzhik and Elbistan, and caused severe destruction in 10 cities, many earthquake victims and citizens involved in search and rescue efforts in the region urged the need for mobile toilets.
Pointing out that the number of mobile toilets sent to the quake area is not enough, the experts said that the epidemic that may occur due to sanitary conditions will be a disaster for the quake region.
The earthquake, which affected 13 million people in 10 provinces, has limited access to water and adequate food in many places, and cold weather conditions also increase the risk of epidemics. Batyr Berdyklychev, a representative of the WHO country office who is currently working in this area, told Hürriyet about the developments.
Berdyklychev said in a statement: “The scale of the catastrophe and its consequences are enormous; We are in contact with the authorities to further mobilize our resources. Reconstruction of hospitals and medical institutions is a priority. Problems with clean water supplies can increase the risk of disease and vaccine-preventable diseases.
The main points of Berdyklychev’s messages are as follows:
“3. The degree of urgency means speeding up the procedure and mobilizing resources. WHO continues to work at this level in countries such as Ukraine, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as well as in Turkey. Until now, we have supported the region with medical teams; some teams and equipment are also ready to go to Turkey.
We are in contact with the authorities to further mobilize our resources. The seriousness of the current situation complicates the fight. However, we see an atmosphere of mobilization to save lives across the country. We were impressed by the heroic work of the people during our visits to the region.
RESPIRATORY DISEASES MAY BE VISIBLE
Noting that primary health care and chronic disease services need to be at the forefront when search and rescue efforts come to a close, WHO country office spokesman Berdyklychev said: “Post-surgery care, rehabilitation and psychosocial support are another priority. As WHO, we will focus on supporting the Ministry of Health in the diagnosis and epidemic control of possible infectious diseases.
Continued tremors and damage to buildings and roads may hamper rescue efforts. Possible interruptions in access to clean water due to the danger of epidemics can increase the risk of disease and increase the risk of respiratory diseases, as people live in tents and containers. If routine medical services are interrupted, even temporarily, there may be an increase in some vaccine-preventable diseases.
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