Health Minister Koca Meets with WHO Director-General Ghebreyesusv


Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made a statement to the press after visiting the field hospital in Hatay.

In his statement, Dr. Koca stated that the United Nations (UN) called for emergency assistance immediately after the disaster was declared as a Level-4 Emergency in the first hours of the earthquake, and they saw how the alarm gave momentum to international solidarity and cooperation.

Expressing that they are trying to heal the wounds as soon as possible, Dr. Koca said, "I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all friendly and brotherly countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations who supported us in the process.”

Noting that they hosted the highest-level officials of the World Health Organization, the UN's specialized agency in the field of health, in the earthquake zone, Dr. Koca said, “Director General Tedross Adhonom, and the European Regional Director Hans Kluge, came to visit the site in person with their teams. We had a very productive meeting with them. In addition to the negative effects that our country was exposed to during the earthquake, we shared with them the health services we provide and our planning regarding the recovery process. In this process, we had the opportunity to consult on how the United Nations and the WHO can contribute.”


Minister Koca stated that, as the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Türkiye, their first priority during the earthquake process is the emergency treatment of the injured and then their transfer to safe areas, and said, “In addition to our hospitals that are in use in the disaster area, there are established field hospitals with a total of 35 fully-equipped operating rooms, 27 of which was established by our foreign friends, and 110 emergency response facilities. We continue to provide on-site health services with our units. In addition to our local teams, 1253 ambulances and 245 UMKE teams that we have dispatched to the disaster area are constantly on duty. In addition to these, we quickly transferred more than 52 thousand of the injured out of the region in about a week with 14 air ambulances, the planes of the Presidency, and the planes and ships of the Turkish Armed Forces.

Stating that they took action to meet the health needs of the earthquake victims in the region, Dr. Koca emphasized that the 112 Emergency and UMKE teams also went around the settlements and villages, performing health screenings, providing necessary medicines and distributing hygiene materials.

WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus made a statement with Minister Koca in Hatay

Stating that he is pleased to be in Türkiye, Ghebreyesus expressed his condolences and also good wishes adding that his heart is with the Turkish people.

Concerning the impact of the earthquake, he said “With more than 44,000 deaths and more than 108,000 injuries, this is one of the biggest disasters in recent history.”

“Turkey is doing its best”

Pointing out that Türkiye is doing its best to help earthquake victims, Ghebreyesus emphasized that the 55 thousand evacuations carried out so far are not an easy task.


Ghebreyesus, who also talked about the difficulties experienced in tent cities and the health problems in the region with Minister Koca, said, “I would like to state that we, as the World Health Organization, are ready to provide all kinds of assistance in line with the priorities conveyed to us.”

Regarding the magnitude of the earthquake, Ghebreyesus said, “I would like to draw attention to the fact that this earthquake and its impact is really big. Türkiye is doing its best. But Türkiye also needs international assistance,” he said.

Updated: 02/03/2023