Turkey NPHI Responds to Earthquakes

The Van province in eastern Turkey was hit by two earthquakes in late October and early November, leveling many buildings. By mid-November, 617 people had been reported dead, and hundreds of others were injured, says Ismail Ceyhan, vice president of Refik Saydam National Public Health Agency, which supported laboratory facilities in the affected area with a mobile laboratory and a team. The agency also received samples for analysis from Van. The Ministry of Health directed and planned the response to the health crisis. The Health Disaster and Emergency Management Centre (SAKOM) quickly provided access to the quake area to health workers, 112 (emergency) teams, and National Medical Rescue Teams (UMKEs) who were on site in the first 20 minutes. By that evening,145 ambulance and UMKE vehicles, and 500 additional health workers were ready to provide service. Van Local Hospital and tent hospitals were at full capacity, and other local province hospitals and hospitals in Ankara were created to care for the injured. Rescue, transport of injured persons, and other services operated on a 24-hour basis. MoH's 184 Communication Line is providng information support to relatives of injured persons in the earthquake area, and psychological support services are continuing for victims. All health services have been carried on without interruption. Measures have been taken to counter infectious diseases.

Turkey Earthquake