Scientists have warned that epidemics could spread in the aftermath of the two major earthquakes that hit Turkey’s eleven southern provinces. The quakes have caused significant damage to the region’s infrastructure, leading to a decline in the quality of municipal water and malfunctioning sewerage systems. The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has requested a meeting with the Ministry of Health to address the issue, stressing the critical role that the TTB can play in resolving the problem.
Secretary General of the TTB, Vedat Bulut, has cautioned that “epidemics are at the door.” Scabies cases have already been reported, and respiratory infections are expected to rise. Crowded living areas in the earthquake zone have led to fears of waterborne epidemics such as cholera. Millions of people from the affected regions have settled in other provinces, leading to the potential for further spread of disease.
Bulut has called for urgent action, including the delivery of medicines, water chlorination, and the provision of safe drinking water. The TTB had already set up a health services team in Hatay’s Sevgi Park, providing essential healthcare services to the affected population. However, the park has since been disbanded by the deputy governorship, causing concern amongst medical professionals.
As the threat of epidemics looms, the TTB urges the government to take immediate measures to address the deteriorating conditions in the earthquake zone to prevent further outbreaks of disease.