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Trauma Support, Maternal Care, and More Receive Funds During Earthquake Response

Medical needs, including ICU staffing and medical supplies, and support for mothers and babies are part of the latest round of grants from Direct Relief to support the health needs arising from the Turkey -Syria earthquake.


Turkey-Syria Earthquake 2023

A Syrian American Medical Society ambulance is pictured here in Syria. SAMS has been responding to the earthquake in Syria with medical services. The organization is one of several in Turkey and Syria that Direct Relief is supporting with emergency operating funds as well as requested medical supplies. (Photo courtesy of SAMS)

Direct Relief this week announced the latest round of financial support to local health providers and first responders in Turkey and Syria as the region continues to reel from a massive earthquake.

The death toll from the Feb. 6, 2023 earthquake has risen to more than 36,000, with more than 200,000 injured. Direct Relief is focused on two tracks of immediate response: financial support to bolster immediate rescue efforts and medical material to backstop stressed health facilities in the region.

Last week, Direct Relief committed $3 million in cash support for the earthquake response efforts. As part of that commitment, Direct Relief is issuing the following emergency grants:

Financial support for Turkey:

The Society of Critical Care Medicine will receive $500,000 to support specialized procurement of trauma care needs and supplies. The organization has active members working in hospitals in Turkey and Syria and is also mobilizing ICU specialists from multiple countries to provide emergency medicine and critical care services in support of the Turkish health system.

The Turkish Midwifery Association will receive $100,000 to obtain UN delivery kits. The association has 3,910 members who provide pre- and post-natal home care as well as childbirth services at Turkish hospitals throughout the country. Pregnant women and newborns are particularly vulnerable to health risks in disaster settings, and the funding will pay for supplies to facilitate safe births, as well as personal care supplies for pregnant women and those recovering from birth.

AKUT, the leading search and rescue team in Turkey with over 400 staff and volunteers, has received $100,000 for urban search and rescue efforts. The group will also receive 100 Direct Relief field medic backpacks for triage care.

Turkish Society of Nephrology – Renal Disaster Task Force will receive $20,000 for converted shipping containers to shelters for specialized teams cycling into Adiyaman, Hatay, and Kahramanmaras to provide medical care for crush wounds and resulting kidney issues that occur after acute traumas.

Financial support for Syria:

The Syrian American Medical Society has received $600,000 to support operations in northwest Syria, where the organization has 1,700 medical staff providing medical care. A portion of the support was used for generator fuel to power hospital operations and fuel for ambulance response.

Syria Relief and Development will receive $100,000 for emergency operating expenses. This grant follows years of support from Direct Relief to Syria Relief and Development, including financial assistance and donations of medical resources.

Independent Doctors Association will receive $100,000 for emergency operating expenses. This grant builds on years of in-kind support from Direct Relief – more than 10 million doses of medicine since 2021.

Since the earthquake reverberated throughout the region, Direct Relief has shipped or is shipping more than 22 tons of medical aid for Turkey and Syria, including antibiotics, wound care dressings, protective gear, and other requested medical resources.

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