Turkey-Syria Earthquake Survivors Displaying Signs of PTSD, Doctors Report

Post-Earthquake Health Challenges in Turkey and Syria

  1. Rising Cases of PTSD and Anxiety
    • Doctors in Iskenderun, Turkey, report an increasing number of patients experiencing anxiety and panic attacks following the recent earthquake.
    • Major Beena Tiwari notes that many patients now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the confusion and trauma caused by the earthquake.
  2. Impact of the Earthquake
    • The earthquake and its aftershocks have caused over 37,000 deaths and devastated villages in Turkey and Syria.
    • Survivors are facing challenges finding shelter, staying warm, and maintaining cleanliness.
  3. Severe Injuries and Emotional Trauma
    • Many survivors spent hours in the cold, dark rubble, only to discover their loved ones dead or missing.
    • Tiwari, part of an Indian team setting up a field hospital, highlights the significant physical and emotional toll on survivors.
  4. Psychological Support and Outreach
    • Turkish health officials and organizations like Unicef are providing psychological aid to survivors, especially children, encouraging play and comfort.
    • Families report children experiencing fear and trauma, with some waking up afraid and associating loud noises with earthquakes.
  5. Health Challenges and Infectious Diseases
    • Iskenderun Hospital is treating patients with infectious diseases and respiratory tract infections, exacerbated by living in tents during winter.
    • Director Yaduvir Singh notes a shift in patient profiles, from trauma cases to infectious diseases.
  6. Humanitarian Response and Support
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) has requested $43 million for trauma care, essential drugs, and psychological support in Turkey.
    • WHO European Director Hans Kluge emphasizes the urgent need for humanitarian assistance, with 26 million people in need across both countries.

The aftermath of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria highlights the urgent need for medical care, psychological support, and humanitarian aid. Efforts are underway to address the physical and emotional toll on survivors, with a focus on providing essential services and support during this challenging time.

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