The Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has revealed that more than 4 000 people have been killed and more than 18, 700 are injured as a result of the earthquake in Türkiye and the Syrian Arab Republic.
He made this statement at a media briefing at the 152nd session of the Executive Board which took place on the Tuesday, 7th of February, 2023.
Dr Ghebreyesus stated the his organisation is shocked and saddened by the images and reports coming from Türkiye and the Syrian Arab Republic.
“All of us extend our deepest sorrow and sympathy to the representatives of both countries here, and to your people”, he said.
Dr Ghebreyesus also stated that these numbers will continue to rise as the situation evolves.
“Of course, what these numbers don’t tell us is the grief and loss being experienced by families right now who have lost a mother, a father, a daughter, a son beneath the rubble – or who don’t know whether their loved ones are alive or dead.
“Numbers do not tell us about the perilous situation that many families now face, having lost everything, forced to sleep outside in the middle of winter, he added ..
He declared that It’s now a race against time because every minute, every hour that passes, the chances of finding survivors alive diminishes.
His words: “Continued aftershocks, severe winter conditions, damage to roads, power supplies, communications and other infrastructure continue to hamper access and other search and rescue efforts.
“National officials in both countries are leading search and rescue operations, while anticipating the increased need for trauma care to treat the injured.
“The initial focus is on saving lives and caring for wounds. We are especially concerned about areas where we do not yet have information. Damage mapping is ongoing, to understand where we need to focus our attention.
“We are operating on a “no regrets” basis, with incident management teams rapidly established at national, regional and global levels.
” We are mobilizing emergency supplies, and we have activated WHO’s network of emergency medical teams to provide essential health care for the injured and most vulnerable, he added.
The D.G revealed that WHO is dispatching three charter flights to both countries with medical supplies, including major surgical trauma kits, from their logistics hub in Dubai.
“We will work closely with all partners to support authorities in both countries, in the critical hours and days ahead, and in the months and years to come as both countries recover and rebuild.
” To our sisters and brothers from Türkiye and the Syrian Arab Republic, we all stand with you in this moment of unspeakable grief.
“This is a moment when we must come together in solidarity, as one humanity, to save lives and alleviate the suffering of people who have already suffered so much, he stated.
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