We are on the 7th day of the Kahramanmarash earthquake. After a terrible catastrophe that engulfed 10 of our provinces, 29,605 citizens were killed and thousands of buildings were destroyed. Just 9 hours after the 7.7 earthquake, another 7.6 quake hit. As search and rescue efforts continue without slowing down, there is promising news about the rescue operation. After these two major natural disasters, Turkey mobilized aid to those affected by the earthquake. Our citizens who have lost their homes are currently living in tents. Unfortunately, the uphill struggle does not end for the earthquake victims rescued from the rubble. Bad weather conditions, hypothermia, lack of food and water make life very difficult in the earthquake zone. This is especially difficult for women. The inability of women to express their special needs due to the small number of women officials in the region is only part of the problem. Of the women affected by the earthquake, 214 thousand 325 people are declared pregnant, and 23 thousand 814 women are due to give birth within a month. Gynecology and obstetrics specialist Mujdegül Yavasoglu Karaca shared on social media under the heading “toilet hygiene for women”. Let’s get into the details together…
What can be done to prevent epidemics that may occur in the earthquake zone?
It is difficult for women, especially pregnant women, to voice their needs after an earthquake.
Currently in Adiyaman, Dr. O. She explains that the maternity and children’s hospital in the city was damaged as a result of the earthquake, and for this reason, an emergency service for pregnant women was established at the Adiyaman University Teaching and Research Hospital. “We set up a small delivery room here. So far, we’ve had eight normal deliveries.” The doctor says the mothers and babies are in good health and splashes water on us.
Women cannot meet their hygiene needs
Volunteer Dilek Bashalan works in the field in Adiyaman, one of 10 cities hit by the earthquake. Claiming that women’s special needs can be ignored in a state of chaos, Bashalan argues that stress-induced bleeding takes a long time, and women try to stop the bleeding without even wearing underwear for several days.
“There is a risk of microbial contamination. The underwear they use will carry the risk of infection after a while.”
The need for portable toilets is too great
One of the biggest needs of earthquake victims after an earthquake is portable toilets. There is a big problem with the toilet in this area. This situation especially affects women. Dilek Bashalan says the toilets are not to be used. “Women should go to the toilet in a hygienic environment and use healthy materials during their menstrual cycle. We will focus on prefabricated toilets.”
Due to this lack of toilets, the risk of epidemic diseases in the region is very high. So much so that it is believed that this situation increases gynecological diseases. Nevruz Tugce Ozcelik, one of the volunteers at Antep Islahiyya, also highlights the need for toilets. Özcelik said hygiene products such as sanitary napkins and diapers have just arrived in the region. “Where we are, there is a problem with water and infrastructure. Water doesn’t flow. So the toilets are very dirty.” he adds.
Women volunteers should be increased
Ayse, a volunteer at the Hatay Merkez gym, says aid is not enough, there are serious problems with women’s clothing, especially women’s pads, underwear and tracksuits. Aishe said that the number of women working in the region is low. “Women do not express their desires, they are ashamed. However, if a woman is on duty, they may ask for pads and underwear.” makes a statement. Ayse adds that everything is very unplanned.
In this regard, the specialist in gynecology and obstetrics Mujdegül Yavasoglu Karaca makes the following statements:
Dr. Mujdegül Yavaşoğlu Karaca makes a statement about “toilet hygiene for women” in a social media post. Karaca says that journalists in the disaster area spoke about the problem with the toilet and that women are particularly affected by this situation. The 11-share tweet series claims that illnesses can occur within 1-2 months in women who do not have access to a hygienic toilet; He says that genital hygiene products, soap and wet wipes should never be applied to the vulva, and the genital area should not be touched with dirty hands in case of itching. Here are those posts:
Disaster management experts explain: how to help an earthquake area?
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