The BMA has today announced that its charitable arm, BMA Giving, has donated £25,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)’s Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. The money will go to providing emergency aid such as emergency medical treatment for the injured, shelter for those who have lost their homes, and ensuring people have access to food and clean water.
Dr John Firth, deputy chair of the BMA’s International Committee, said:
“A week ago the world watched in horror as devastating earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria. The scale of the destruction has been beyond comprehension, with many thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. It will be a long time before the full extent of the damage is known. For now, our thoughts turn to those brave individuals working tirelessly to deliver aid to the affected areas.
“UK doctors send their solidarity to their colleagues in Syria and Turkey working to alleviate the suffering of the population, from the many grievous injuries caused by the earthquake itself to the ongoing threat from freezing conditions and waterborne diseases such as cholera. The medical situation is likely to remain dire for the foreseeable future and basic supplies will be vital: we urge all who can afford to to donate to the DEC appeal to keep the flow of aid into the area running. We also welcome the UK government’s provision of UK medics with surgical capability to provide emergency treatment to the region.
“The country of Syria especially has endured crisis upon crisis, and much of the population was in dire need of humanitarian assistance even before the earthquake. We are alarmed at reports that international rescue workers have been unable to reach affected people, as have aid shipments containing medical equipment and treatments. We call on the Syrian government and other parties to ensure that aid safely reaches badly affected areas through additional cross-border access points.
“We urge governments and citizens alike to respond to this terrible tragedy with all the urgency the scale of the suffering demands.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.