Earthquake Crisis Emergency Response in Türkiye and Syria: A Comprehensive Medical Initiative

In the wake of the catastrophic 7.7 magnitude earthquake that rocked Türkiye and Syria, a staggering 14,000 aftershocks compounded the devastation, leaving communities in shambles. The humanitarian impact was profound, resulting in over 4,500 fatalities and 8,700 injuries in north-west Syria alone, exacerbating an already dire situation in a region gripped by internal displacement.

The seismic activity triggered fresh waves of internal displacement, affecting over 86,000 individuals, with a stark reality that more than half of these displaced persons are children. Particularly alarming is the state of Syria, where 1.9 million people reside in 1,430 camps or self-settled sites, predominantly comprising women and children, further worsening the already colossal internal displacement crisis.

The earthquake severely compromised critical infrastructure, notably the hospital building of IDA, causing service interruptions and amplifying the demand for trauma and surgical care. With the lack of adequate secondary and trauma care health facilities in the Afrin district, the need for immediate medical intervention became paramount.

In response to this urgent humanitarian crisis, Hospitainer swiftly identified the pressing need for medical solutions in Syria. Recognizing the urgency, Hospitainer had a ready-to-deploy large-scale field hospital with comprehensive medical equipment and supplies in stock. With a dedicated team poised for immediate action, efforts to establish a coalition of partners began, prioritizing swift deployment and collaborative aid to the affected region.

Efforts encountered challenges, including determining the optimal hospital location, ensuring secure transportation of medical goods, and guaranteeing safety during deployment. Collaborating with IDA, an effective partnership was formed to navigate these challenges and facilitate the successful establishment of the field hospital in Afrin.

Following multiple preparatory missions, the 112-bed field hospital was deployed in Afrin, officially inaugurated on July 18, 2023. Operating in coordination with Aleppo Health Directorate, local councils of Afrin city, and Turkish authorities, the hospital commenced its 24/7 services.

In just a short span, the hospital has registered over 4,000 beneficiaries, with approximately 2,240 cases admitted for outpatient care services, highlighting the dire need for medical attention in the region. The hospital’s impact is evident in the provision of specialized care, including orthopedic, neurosurgery, internal medicine, and general surgery, catering to a significant number of patients.

This collaborative effort owes its success to the unified support of organizations such as IDA, MOTG, Humedica, Malteser, and WP de Koning, pooling their resources and expertise to address the pressing medical needs in the region.

Detailed Description of Inpatient Departments in the Field Hospital:

  1. Adult Ward: Segregated for male and female adult inpatients, providing diagnostic, curative, and intensive care services.
  2. Pediatrics Ward: Dedicated to infants and children aged between 0 to 17, managing various disorders and healthcare needs.
  3. Gynecology Ward: Catering to reproductive-age mothers for a range of gynecological services and support.
  4. Delivery: Offering vaginal delivery and Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC) services.
  5. Operation Theatre: Equipped with specialized facilities for CEmONC procedures and other elective surgeries, facilitated by expert gynecologists and anesthesia teams.
  6. Resuscitation and Preparation: Equipped for newborn resuscitation and pre/post-surgical care.
  7. Newborn Unit: Providing care for newborns with specialized incubators and phototherapy devices.
  8. Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU): Addressing critical conditions in newborns with advanced ventilation and monitoring systems, overseen by pediatricians and anesthetists.

This comprehensive initiative showcases a united effort to provide essential medical services and care in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Syria and Türkiye.