The Indian Army has set up a field hospital in the Hatay region of Iskenderun in earthquake-hit Turkey to help victims, as part of the ongoing ‘Operation Dost’. The Army has been providing medical aid and relief material to the people in a school building where the 60 Para Field hospital has been set up.
Lieutenant Colonel Adarsh, second-in-command, 60 Para Field Hospital, said that their team consists of 96 persons and has orthopaedic specialists, surgeons, and maxillofacial surgeons to take care of multi-trauma cases that are expected in such a disaster. He said that they have performed 10 surgeries, including the amputation of a patient who had recovered from the rubble.
Lieutenant Colonel Adarsh said that local people are grateful for the services that they are being provided by the Indian doctors.
“I can see it in their eyes, even if they are not expressed in the language that we understand that they are grateful for the services that we are providing to them. It is very obvious in their eyes when I look into them,” Lieutenant Colonel Adarsh told ANI.
“We received 350 patients since yesterday and 200 patients since this morning. We have done around 10 surgeries, but worth mentioning one is the amputation of a patient who was recovered from the rubble after four days. So it was a miracle that he survived,” he said.
He further said, “We stabilized him, but unfortunately, the leg could not be saved. It has gangrene, so it has to be amputated. So it was a major surgery that was done in field conditions. It took 3.5 hours for our orthopaedic surgeons to complete the operation but the patient was stabilized for that and presently he has been evacuated to Heart Center for further treatment.”
Speaking about the team of doctors working in the hospital, he said, “It was a very sad moment for us to hear about this disaster but we were told to be ready for mobilization and within 6 hours, we were at the airport ready to move in. 60 Parafield Hospital is part of Para Brigade which is the first respondent for any international disaster scenario. So, our team consists of 96 persons in total and we have surgeons, orthopaedic specialists, GI surgeons, and maxillofacial surgeons to take care of multi-trauma cases that are expected in such a disaster scenario.”
He further said, “So within six hours of notice we were ready and on 8th we reached Adana Airport in the morning, we were shifted to Iskandaran province where the suitable building was identified. It was a school building and we were able to establish our hospital in the next six hours to receive the casualties. Now, as far as the kind of casualties that we had, it was basically multi-trauma cases as expected in this kind of disaster and a couple of neglected trauma. Also in the initial days, we were able to do a couple of major surgeries.”
Lieutenant Colonel Adarsh said that they were fully equipped when they mobilized.
“When we mobilized, we were fully equipped. We had our own Ambulances, we had our own light vehicles, we have our own army trucks, we had ration and medical equipment which could sustain us for 14 days and the Indian Army is giving us replenishments in the form of whatever equipment or logistic support we require. So, C 17 has been flown in from India as and when required as per our requirement,” Lieutenant Colonel Adarsh said.
Lauding the courage of Turkish people, he said, “I must mention that the people of Turkey that they are very strong-hearted and the community spirit that they have a lot of volunteers have just poured in from all corners of the country and they are providing interpreters, interns, nurses, pharmacists, doctors, whatever is required to run a facility like this.”
Speaking to ANI, Furkaan, a Turkish national, expressed gratitude to Indian Army as it was the first group that reached Iskendrun. He said that people with all health issues were being treated in the Para Field hospital.
“I’m really grateful to them because they’re the first group that arrived in Iskenderun and with a group of army, with a group of people and they actually arrived in Adana, Hawaiimona first which is a providence in Turkey. And we met them there.”
He further said, “I’m a group of the rescue team. Actually, we help in the field with translation, we have a team. For example, my wife is Arabic translator, I’m an English translator. So we met them in the airport. I asked them if they have translator and then I guide them here. Now we are still together, working together. And also yesterday, before sleeping, I checked how many patients we got here. It was 350 patients in two days.”
Speaking about the treatment and medication being given to people in the Para Field hospital, Furkan said, “As you know, because of the disaster, there are lots of people staying outside. We help the people who survive the disaster and also we help other people who are living outside because they got cold.”
He further said, “Also we have infection problems started here. People cannot take showers. We don’t have water here. But thanks to our brothers, our friends, and our lovely nation, we help a lot of people. All the sicknesses, all like fractures, cold, even survivors of the disaster, earthquake survivors, we help them all.”
Speaking about India and Turkey, he said, “I had only one friend from India. I didn’t know much people from there. But it was the first time that I met a group of people from there. And now I cannot explain my feelings.”
He said, “I hope they will visit us in another like for visiting, for fun. I mean, this is my expectation. That’s why I call them dost. Actually, dost is just a friend, but I see them like brothers and sisters.”
Responding to a question about the help that Turkey needs from India, Furkaan said that Turkey needs rescue teams. He appreciated India’s help as Turkey continues the rescue operation after the deadly earthquakes jolted Turkey and Syria on February 6.
Furkaan said, “Currently, there are lots of teams coming from other countries as well. They’re trying to rescue people. But it’s been five days, so I’m not sure. Maybe rescue teams will be good for this is only a requirement here because there are some places the roads are closed, people couldn’t reach there. I mean, people are still waiting, maybe down the debris.” He further said, “I think we need the rescue teams. I really appreciate your help.” (ANI)