B-FAST leaves Turkey: more than 3,500 patients treated
Today the Belgian medics of the B-FAST field hospital in Turkey officially handed over the hospital to the Turkish Ministry of Health. Since 16 February, B-FAST has treated over 3,503 victims of the severe earthquakes of early February.
The field hospital has been operational in Kirikhan, located in the hard-hit province of Hatay. €8 million was provided for the whole operation, partly funded by the EU. The hospital was open 24-on-7 for 22 days and helped an average of 159 people daily. Almost a third of the patients were children; even eight babies were born there.
Belgium is donating the hospital and all related materials, such as medical equipment, medication, the kitchen, and the water purification plant to Turkey. This will allow the clinic to remain open for as long as necessary.
Since 2 March, a team of Turkish doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and logistics staff have been running with the B-FAST team to familiarise themselves with the clinic. They are now ready to take over operations.
Most of the 207 Belgian volunteers who participated in the mission will return to Belgium tomorrow. A small logistics team will stay for a few more days to monitor the transition and manage the repatriation of the remaining equipment.
Field hospital in Kirikhan, Turkey, built by Belgian governmental aid organization B-Fast (Belgian First Aid and Support Team), Monday 20 February 2023. B-FAST sent a medical team to offer relief in the region struck by an earthquake on February 6th. © BELGA PHOTO SERDAR OZSOY