Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca gave information about the health activities in the earthquake area at the Disaster Coordination Center in Hatay.
In his statement, Minister Koca said that 19 thousand people, 13 thousand of whom are physicians, are serving in the fixed units in the disaster area.
“With 74 thousand health personnel and 47 thousand other personnel, the number of personnel of the Ministry of Health in the region is approximately 140 thousand. In other words, approximately one out of every 8 relevant personnel of our Ministry is in the disaster area. As of today, the number of patients hospitalized in 10 disaster provinces due to earthquakes is 6,108. The total number of inpatients is 21,859. The total number of patients who were discharged is 13 thousand 612. Just yesterday, 902 surgical operations were performed. The number of operations carried out since the first day of the disaster is 10,601. As a result of the experience of our physicians, great successes have been revealed in surgical operations and emergency interventions. I would like to thank our healthcare professionals who dedicate themselves to the continuation of life.”
Expressing that all units are working in coordination, Minister of Health Dr. Koca said, “As of this morning, the number of active service beds is 20 thousand 239 and the service bed occupancy rate is 60 percent in the health institutions of the 10 provinces affected by the earthquake. The number of intensive care beds is 3,425, and our intensive care occupancy rate is 78 percent. Our dialysis capacity is at a level to meet the needs of our patients. As you know, the adequacy of the dialysis capacity is extremely important in terms of kidney problems that may be experienced by our patients who have been dehydrated for a long time.
“Our field hospitals are like full-fledged hospitals”
Stating that 51,152 patients and injured people, mostly in the first days, were transferred to hospitals in other cities, Minister Koca pointed out that the number of ambulances still on duty in the region is 1267.
Stating that 114 emergency response units and 25 field hospitals were established in the disaster area, Dr. Koca said, “12 of our field hospitals are equipped with all the necessary hospital equipment that may be required at the time of the disaster, including the tomography device. It is like a full-fledged hospital.”
Emphasizing that the transfer of patients to the surrounding provinces decreased with the establishment of these hospitals, Dr. Koca stated that there are no capacity problems in health services with the health institutions that continue their activities without interruption and the temporary service areas established.
Minister Koca also added that “Health screenings and chronic patient follow-ups are carried out. In 906 villages of Hatay, Adıyaman, Gaziantep and Kahramanmaraş, which are among the cities most affected by the earthquake, 21 thousand 515 sick and injured people have been provided health services and their medicines have been delivered so far. As it is known, this duty is carried out by the mobile health service units that we have established.”
Explaining that only in Hatay, 100 ambulances still carry out health screenings in villages, Minister Koca said, “906 family health centers provide service with 2 thousand 940 physicians in the disaster area. Together with these centers, the number of primary health care institutions exceeds a thousand. Only in these primary health care institutions, we have examined 221 thousand 799 patients so far. We have established 94 health centers in tent cities, and we have served 7 thousand 774 patients so far.”
Measures against communicable diseases
Emphasizing that their prominent task in the cities affected by disasters is to fight against conditions that may threaten public health, Minister Koca said, “Communicable diseases can be painful after disasters such as earthquakes.”
Pointing out that clean water is one of the foremost conditions of public health, Minister of Health Dr. Koca stated that chlorine measurements were made at 1181 points where water was supplied by tankers.
“Vaccination against tetanus disease is provided”
Emphasizing that environmental cleanliness, waste collection and the prevention of communicable diseases are extremely important, Dr. Koca noted that a public health specialist is appointed in all tent cities and that health risks are controlled. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca continued as follows:
“The risks related to possible infectious diseases in the disaster area are now under control with the establishment of an early warning system, the scientific name of which is the surveillance system. Diarrheal diseases, rash diseases, jaundice, flu-like diseases are followed daily and disease signals are monitored. In the ongoing health screenings, 5 thousand 746 people had intestinal infections, 1483 people had rashes, 103 people had jaundice, 61 thousand 880 people had flu-like diseases and they started their treatment immediately.”
6 thousand 447 babies were born in the earthquake zone
Noting that 6,447 babies have been born in the earthquake region since the first day of the disaster, Dr. Koca said that every child born is a hope. Wishing these babies a good and long life, Koca emphasized that the necessary health services are provided to the babies and their mothers without interruption.
Fahrettin Koca stated that other than 10 thousand 489 pregnant women, the number of postpartum follow-up is 10 thousand 56, the number of baby follow-up is 37 thousand 586, and within the scope of newborn screening, 10 thousand 113 heel blood is taken, 5 thousand 152 babies are screened for SMA and childhood immunization services are continued with 154 thousand 212 doses of vaccine.
Furthermore, Dr. Koca thanked the UMKE volunteers who ran for duty in 10 provinces. Koca said, "They gave the first medical attention to those who were brought out of the rubble. When they found a way, they had the courage to do the same thing for those under the rubble. Their task is not over. They will continue to work here until life is in order.”