Primary Healthcare Services are Provided without Interruption


After the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquakes, Minister of Health Dr. Fahrettin Koca made statements at the Field Hospital established in Hatay. Minister Koca said that since the 3rd day of the earthquake, measures have been taken strictly to prevent eruption of a public health crisis.

Pointing out that it will take time to repair the destruction caused by the great disaster and to heal the wounds left behind, Dr. Koca stated that the General Directorate of Public Health continues to work for the full delivery of primary health care services in the region.

Explaining that health screenings are carried out in the villages, patients who need home care are reached, and chronic patient follow-ups are made and their medicines are distributed, Dr. Koca said, “We continue our primary health care services and family medicine practice for the newly established living spaces.”

As one of the biggest known risks after such disasters is the danger of infectious diseases turning into epidemics due to the deterioration of environmental conditions in terms of hygiene, Dr. Koca stated that disinfection of public areas and spraying against rodents and pests continue uninterruptedly.

Tap water should be used for cleaning until the announcement the otherwise is announced

Dr. Koca emphasized that the most critical issue that can cause epidemics is the availability of clean drinking water. Stating that they regularly analyze the water and measure the amount of residual chlorine, Koca noted that super-chlorination is done if necessary.

Giving information about what has been done in this field so far, Dr. Koca continued his words as follows:

“In the first days of the earthquake, mobile water laboratory was established in the region to examine water hygiene in order to diagnose infectious diseases. In the affected provinces, mains water is chlorinated and residual chlorine measurements and microbiological examinations are carried out. Residual chlorine measurement was made at 8,379 points in the earthquake zone between February 6 and 17, and a residual chlorine ratio of 81.54 percent is considered appropriate.

“No infectious disease outbreak has been detected to date”

Emphasizing that 77 percent of the 2 thousand 632 water samples analyzed in public health laboratories between 6-17 February were reported as “microbiologically suitable”, Dr. Koca said, “In our tent cities, drinking water is distributed to the earthquake victims in packages, and the potable water carried by tankers is chlorinated. We have 9 field epidemiologists working in the region. We regularly monitor infectious disease data and analyzes in the provinces of the region. In this context, no infectious disease outbreak has been detected so far.”

Minister Koca shared the following information about the diseases in the region:

“It was observed that the rash diseases were stable in 11 provinces affected by the earthquake. We have a case of chickenpox in Kahramanmaraş and the patient was taken into isolation. Contact follow up is performed.

Although there was an increase in the number of acute intestinal infection cases, no epidemic was detected. We have a small number of patients who were hospitalized for rotavirus infection in Gaziantep and Osmaniye, and for rotavirus and adenovirus infection in Adıyaman. There is no epidemic situation in terms of acute intestinal infections. Although the number of flu-like diseases is increasing, no situation that will cause an epidemic has been detected. The reported jaundices were neonatal jaundice and no infectious jaundice was detected.

In order to prevent infectious diseases that can be seen after disasters, brochures on personal hygiene, water disinfection, lice and scabies have been prepared. Medicines to be used for these diseases were sent to the region.”

Dr. Koca also stated that routine newborn, mother-child, puerperal, chronic patient follow-ups and childhood vaccinations are carried out completely.

Updated: 20/02/2023