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“60% of our patients since Monday have no mobility devices.”

Emergency Health
Syria

Sami (not his real name) manages a rehabilitation team in a hospital in the Idlib region. He describes the dramatic situation after the earthquake.

A view of debris of a collapsed building after the earthquake that shakes Idlib, Syria on February 06, 2023. | © Muhammed Said / ANADOLU AGENCY / AFP

The Lack of Mobility Equipment

“I am the manager of the Physiotherapy Department in a hospital located in the Idlib region, where I oversee a team of 14 staff members. Our hospital is severely overcrowded, with patients lying outside in the cold due to a shortage of beds.

Many patients come from far distances, up to 60 kilometres, to seek treatment for severe conditions such as head trauma, spinal cord injuries, multiple fractures, and amputations because they have been trapped in rubble for long hours.

The risk of permanent Impairment

We are already running low on mobility equipment. There is a great risk of permanent disability for our patients without proper mobility equipment such as wheelchairs, canes, crutches, walkers…

Unfortunately, an estimated 60% of our patients since Monday have not had access to these essential devices due to shortages. 

Our staff is deeply frustrated as we are unable to provide adequate help to our patients without these resources. Although we have a workshop for prosthetics, it is located one hour away, and some devices are not available in our region at all.

The consequences of the lack of equipment

Without mobility equipment, patients are forced to rely on others to carry them from place to place. Some will be confined to their homes without the ability to move around.

The situation is dire, with people still trapped under rubble, houses destroyed, and families forced to sleep in buses or cars.

People grieve their losses; there are burial ceremonies everywhere; in one city nearby authorities have to bury all the corpses together in one mass grave. It is so sad."

Date published: 13/02/23

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