Emergency room doctor Anne Brants traveled to the affected area in Turkey

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

Four days after the earthquake in southern Turkey and northern Syria, the Nijmegen emergency physician Anne Brants left for the affected area together with other healthcare providers from the Netherlands. “We helped for several days in a hospital in Kahramanmaras, when many local healthcare workers were not at work.”

Brants was actually on duty at the Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital in Nijmegen the weekend after the earthquake, but managed to find colleagues who took over her services. “On Thursday I saw a call for doctors who wanted to help in Turkey, and on Friday morning I was on the plane.”

Many buildings collapsed

Upon arrival in Turkey, the damage initially seemed to be not too bad. “But the closer we got to the epicenter, the more destruction we saw.” According to Brants, most of the roads were still passable, while many buildings had collapsed.

The hospital in Kahramanmaras – which was in a neighborhood less affected – had been abandoned for days after the earthquake. “Local healthcare workers who survived the earthquake were not at work those days.” Therefore, mainly doctors from other Turkish regions and abroad were working in the hospital. “An Israeli team was there quite soon after the earthquake and restarted the hospital. We were therefore able to quickly participate in the service schedule.’

Buried alive

In the hospital, Brants mainly helped patients with complaints that she also sees a lot in the Netherlands, such as broken bones and chest pain. “But people were also occasionally brought in who had been buried alive and had symptoms of dehydration.”

Communication with patients and international colleagues went without major problems. ‘Some of the people spoke English or German, and the Dutch team also had Turkish-speaking colleagues who could help with translation. Moreover, thanks to the posture of many patients, it was soon clear what was going on.’

Infectious disease prevention

Brants’ team was present in Turkey for four days; that was predetermined. “Our visa was for that period.” At the end of the fourth day, local Turkish caregivers returned to the hospital to work. ‘I’m glad I was able to contribute. But a lot of help will be needed in the near future, also in the field of infectious disease prevention.’

- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img
Latest news
- Advertisement -spot_img
Related news
- Advertisement -spot_img