Lack of hygiene materials and potable water in earthquake-affected cities in Turkey is causing epidemic diseases such as scabies and diarrhoea to spread, a voluntary doctor told Mezopotamya News Agency.
Volunteer doctor Yasin Yıldırım was part of the team that came to Maraş (Mereş) from Ankara and joined the Crisis Coordination Centre of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Yıldırım stated that the main health problems in the district are caused by sewage and toilet problems, lack of suitable areas to take a shower, and a lack of clean water and clean underwear.
Noting that around 150-200 earthquake victims come to their infirmary every day, he stated that the number of families with scabies has exceeded 20.
Yıldırım said that there are no conditions in place that can control the scabies epidemic, as at least 4 people live in each tent.
Due to strict weather conditions, Yıldırım added that heating is being provided by fires and stoves in the tent camps. “Everyone is exposed to smoke and dust. Many patients come to the infirmary with a cough, throat irritation and discharge due to dust and smoke.”
The voluntary doctor also underlined that the problem of access to toilets and clean water has increased the prominence of diarrhoea in the past few days.
Yıldırım said the immediate needs for the earthquake survivors are clean underwear, tracksuits, clean water, sewer system toilets or compost toilets, vaginal hygiene products, bleach, detergent and oral health products.