Türkiye and Syria Earthquake Response Situation Report
One month has passed since earthquakes rocked Türkiye and Northwest Syria. This is a solemn milestone, and one pauses us to pause and reflect on the gravity of this devastating disaster. An estimated 24 million people are believed to be affected, more than five million were left homeless and those injured are more than 117,000 people. The death toll has now reached 52,800 by March 6th for both Türkiye and Syria since the first major earthquake to hit the region.
A map showing the areas that were hit by the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. Source: bit.ly/3J2CwGa
We would like to extend our sincere condolences to all those affected by the earthquakes. Our field teams in the region are safe and accounted for, though some have lost family members and loved ones and lost their entire homes. We appreciate all the emergency workers for their Immense and continued cooperation in a bid to prevent further loss of life and suffering.
Field Ready staff immediately responded by rescuing those around them and helping to transport people for medical care and distributing urgently needed relief supplies (for more details, see SitRep#1). These recent devastating earthquakes in NW Syria, occurring after more than a dozen years of civil war, have left the healthcare system overwhelmed and in desperate need of support.
Field Ready has been operational and providing humanitarian assistance to Türkiye and Northwest Syria since 2016. The organization is locally registered in Türkiye and has established good working connections and partnerships with Syria.
A rapid field assessment was conducted in NW Syria by Field Ready Türkiye between the 12th and 18th of February 2023 to establish the possibility of intervention to maintain and repair medical devices at regional hospitals so as to aid the medical teams to continue saving lives after fixing the available medical equipment.
Field Ready staff fixing a broken Hospital bed
Field Ready’s Response
For the past seven years, Field Ready has implemented a range of relief and reconstruction projects in this exact earthquake-affected area. The local teams based in Türkiye and Syria have been at the forefront of the emergency response to help survivors by meeting needs through rapid procurement and distribution of NFIs, local manufacturing of relief items, and the innovation of disaster response solutions.
Hospital equipment that needs attention Source: bit.ly/3LdvMYy
Field Ready has the capacity to repair essential health items that may not be readily available in conflict areas like the Türkiye – Syria situation and yet are very vital to significantly improve the quality of health care delivery. Examples of repaired items to date include air compressors, anesthesia machines, defibrillators, ventilators, ICU pumps, centrifuges, nebulizers, sterilizers, ultrasound machines, ECGs, monitors, CT scanners, and other critically needed devices. These items were distributed, monitored, and evaluated in line with current humanitarian best practices.
Non-food Items (NFIs)
Field Ready is using initial funding through foundations in the USA and is distributing NFIs (starting with blankets) to the Earthquake victims in Türkiye and Syria.
Field Ready “rescue airbags” made from locally recovered and recycled materials.
Field Ready, as part of the Waste 4 Warmth project, makes insulation panels and floor insulation tiles made from recycled plastic used for thousands of people living in dire conditions to protect them from the winter cold and summer heat, which is critical as temperatures plummet in NW Syria and Tükiye.
Field Ready designed “rescue airbags” made from locally recovered and recycled materials (including deployed vehicle airbags) which can raise heavy debris and help free those trapped beneath a collapsed structure.
Field Ready’s team of extraordinary engineers has rapidly designed a "survival cube" an earthquake safety space that is made of hard metal, and it is designed to resist the pressure from falling debris during an earthquake, following the recurrent earthquakes in the regions of Syria and Türkiye. The Survival Cube is intended for individuals to seek safety in the event of an earthquake until rescue workers come to their aid. It prevents people from being trapped under rubble and prolongs the victim's survival time as they wait for a response. The earthquake Survival Cube is safe, reliable, highly efficient, and can remarkably reduce human death in the event of an earthquake. The Survival Cube has novelty, advanced technology, and a reasonable life-saving structure.
Medical equipment assessment in Syria
At the end of February, Field Ready carried out a detailed assessment of the health system in NW Syria. The team visited and interviewed key staff from nine (9) hospitals and found that there were no proper medical device maintenance and repair experts, and there were no defined supply chain management systems in place to replace faulty parts in the hospitals. This situation has significantly reduced healthcare efficiency in Syria at such a critical time when the health sector is overwhelmed.
Emad Nasher the Field Ready Program Manager for Türkiye and Syria said
"The need to have the healthcare facilities operable 24/7, stems from dozens of critical cases arriving at hospitals daily. We have identified a total of 58 items that we can locally repair and save lives”
There is a huge community need in terms of the provision of consistent good healthcare services which is further affected by the lack of proper maintenance of the medical devices in every health facility. Services at the healthcare facilities in NW Syria are prone to sudden shutdown because the centers lack the specialized technical staff to maintain and manage systems.