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Libyan doctors help deliver babies in quake-hit Türkiye

Two sisters, who are both doctors, and their paramedic brother from Libya helped the delivery of three babies in the aftermath of the deadly earthquakes that struck Türkiye two weeks ago.

“All of them were normal deliveries,” Karima Atoumi, a medical doctor and part of a 105-member Libyan mission to quake-hit Türkiye, told Anadolu news agency.

A graduate of Tripoli University, Karima told Anadolu news agency that the doctors and their paramedical staff mostly catered to expectant mothers and children.

“We conducted ultrasonography tests as well and dealth with problems like cold and dehydration,” she said in Arabic,

Her sister and fellow, Reema Atoumi, however, said that they were also forced to perform abortions.

Nearly 6,500 babies have been born in southeastern Türkiye since the powerful twin earthquakes shook the region on February 6, according to data released by the Turkish Health Ministry

“Every child born is a hope,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said over the weekend at the coordination center of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) in the southern province of Hatay.

Muhammad Atoumi, brother of two doctors, has been assisting his sisters at a field camp in Hatay since they landed in Türkiye on the night of February 7.

Serving as a paramedic since 2018, Muhammad said he also served in field hospitals during the war in his home country, while his sisters were posted to Tripoli Medical Center.

“Stay safe and strong Türkiye,” the Atoumi siblings said as the team left for Tripoli from southern Türkiye’s Adana airport on Monday.

The Libyan team included staff from the country’s Emergency Medicine and Support Center (EMSC), Libyan Military Medical Corps, detectives and search and rescue personnel, said Dr. Abdul Malek Marset, the mission’s spokesman.

They also brought four professionally trained sniffer dogs with them.

READ MORE:Nearly 6,500 babies born in southern Türkiye since twin earthquakes

International assistance

At least 41,120 people were killed and thousands of others injured by two strong earthquakes that hit Türkiye on February 6. 

Another 5,800 were also reported killed in Syria, pushing the death toll to almost 47,000 in both countries.

In Türkiye, over 11,000 international search and rescue personnel, including those from Libya, came in the wake of the devastating tremors.

Dubbed as the country’s worst earthquakes of 21st century, the twin tremors were centred in Kahramanmaras also struck 10 other provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa, and Elazig.

More than 13 million people have been affected by the devastating quakes.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the tremors that struck in a span of less than 10 hours.

On Monday evening, another powerful quake measured at 6.4 magnitude hit Türkiye’s province of Hatay killing at least six people in the country and two others in Syria.

What will happen to the children orphaned by Türkiye’s earthquakes?

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