Close to 74,000 people have undergone surgery due to injuries caused by two powerful earthquakes that hit southern Turkey in February, according to a statement from the country’s health minister.
Aug. 6 marked the sixth-month anniversary of the earthquakes, which had a magnitude of 7.8 and 7.5 and hit southern and southeastern Turkey on Feb. 6.
The earthquakes caused the death of at least 57,000 people in Turkey and Syria, the destruction of over 350,000 buildings and impacted the lives of 18 million people across both countries, according to official figures.
On the occasion of the six-month anniversary of the earthquakes, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca posted information on X, previously known as Twitter, on Saturday about the healthcare services provided to the earthquake victims so far.
According to Koca, a total of 1,123,211 earthquake victims have received healthcare services, while 73,876 have undergone surgeries. The minister said 617 earthquake victims still remain hospitalized.
DEPREMİN ÜZERİNDEN 6 AY GEÇTİ. 1 Milyon 123.211 depremzedeye sağlık hizmeti verilmiş durumda. 42.295’i küçük, orta ve büyük (ABC grubu) ameliyatlar olmak üzere 73.876 ameliyat gerçekleştirildi. Halen hastanelerimizde yatan 617 depremzede hastanın tedavisi devam ediyor.…
— Dr. Fahrettin Koca (@drfahrettinkoca) August 6, 2023
The health ministry attracted widespread criticism for failing to prepare hospitals in the earthquake zone for the occurrence of earthquakes since many hospitals in quake-hit provinces such as Hatay, Mersin and Adana either collapsed or were severely damaged, leading to the deaths of healthcare personnel as well as patients.
According to the United Nations, more than 10 million people in the affected regions still require humanitarian assistance. Aid efforts are mainly focused on medical care, psychosocial support to cope with trauma and the provision of basic supplies in shelters and camps.