Belgium sends medical aid and field hospital to earthquake-hit Turkey

Belgium sends medical aid and field hospital to earthquake-hit Turkey
Belgian Foreign Affairs minister Hadja Lahbib. Credit: Belga/Benoit Doppagne

Belgium is preparing to send an Emergency Medical Team (so-called EMT 2 team) from B-FAST to Turkey, following the devastating earthquakes that hit the country at the start of the week.

The Belgian State will set up and staff a field hospital in the affected region to provide the necessary medical assistance to the local population and to relieve the pressure on existing Turkish hospitals, which have been overrun due to the thousands of injured people. The first people will leave for the hard-hit country on Wednesday, and 10,000 sleeping bags are also being sent.

"The field hospital can treat more than 100 patients per day and can also accommodate at least 20 patients to spend the night under observation. The team will consist of Belgian doctors, specialised in emergency surgery, supported by emergency nurses and other specific medical profiles," states a press release by the Foreign Affairs Department.

Tweet reads: Belgium is preparing to send an emergency B-FAST medical team to Turkey. We will set up a field hospital to provide medical assistance to the local population and relieve pressure on Turkish hospitals.

The staff will be able to perform on-site operations and provide other life-saving medical assistance and a specific so-called “mother and child” department will also be offered. "The field hospital ensures that existing Turkish hospitals are relieved as the health system remains under pressure for weeks after such an earthquake."

Depending on the needs on the ground, the team – which will consist of 70-80 people – will remain on site for several weeks.

The Turkish authorities sent out an international request for help, requesting specialised field hospitals in addition to Search and Rescue teams. B-FAST's planning committee immediately met with the Turkish embassy in Brussels to offer aid to the affected areas as efficiently as possible.

Related News

The first team leaving on Wednesday will see where the field hospital can be set up. Another team will then leave this weekend to set it up so it can be fully operational by next Thursday at the latest.

The entire hospital, comprising several dozen containers, will be transported by Defence aircraft from the military airport of Melsbroek, just outside of Brussels. The medical specialists being sent are mainly volunteers who were called up by the FPS Public Health, supplemented by military medical personnel.

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.