Illness the brand new menace as Turkey faces post-quake water scarcity By Reuters


© Reuters. Particles are seen within the aftermath of a lethal earthquake in Hatay, Turkey February 15, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne


By Henriette Chacar

KAHRAMANMARAS, Turkey (Reuters) – Greater than every week after his house was wrecked in a lethal earthquake that hit southern Turkey, Mohammad Emin’s physique remains to be coated in mud and dirt.

Like numerous different victims of a disaster that killed greater than 41,000 in Turkey and Syria, he’s nonetheless ready for a wash – affected by a scarcity of fresh water that worldwide well being our bodies say poses a threat to public well being.

“We’ve not been capable of rinse off for the reason that earthquake,” stated Emin, a 21-year-old graphic design scholar, as he carried flu medication from the clinic of an open-air stadium serving as a camp for displaced folks within the metropolis of Kahramanmaras.

With a lot of the area’s sanitation infrastructure broken or rendered inoperable by final Monday’s two 7.8- and seven.6-magnitude earthquakes, Turkish well being authorities face a frightening activity in making an attempt to make sure that survivors, many homeless, now stay disease-free.

A health care provider on the clinic, Akin Hacioglu, stated between 15 and 30 medics operated the ability, the one one in every of its variety on the camp, which serves as much as 10,000 folks through the day.

They’re providing tetanus photographs to residents who request them, and distributing hygiene kits with shampoo, deodorant, pads and wipes, Hacioglu stated.

However Emin stated there have been no showers at or close to the camp and the six bathrooms on the stadium weren’t sufficient to fulfill demand.

Arif Kirici, 42, has been sheltering on the similar stadium since he dug himself and his mom out of their collapsed house on the day of the quake.

He additionally stated he had not been capable of take a bathe nor, like a number of different camp residents who Reuters spoke to, change his garments.

Within the metropolis of Antakya, additional south in the direction of the Syrian border, larger numbers of transportable bathrooms are in proof than through the first days after the quake, however many residents say nonetheless extra are wanted.

Batyr Berdyklychev, the World Well being Group’s consultant in Turkey, stated the water scarcity “will increase the chance of waterborne ailments and outbreaks of communicable ailments.”

The WHO was working with native authorities to step up monitoring of waterborne ailments, seasonal influenza and COVID-19 amongst these displaced, he added.

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