The devastating earthquake that struck Türkiye (Turkey) and Syria in February has killed more than 50,000 people and displaced and injured millions more. Heart to Heart International (HHI) is working closely with partners on the ground near the disaster areas to deliver surgical supplies, hygiene kits and portable medical clinics ready to immediately treat patients in the disaster zone.
These stand-alone clinics, which are housed inside metal shipping containers, are manufactured by Kansas company, Clinic In A Can. HHI has worked with Clinic In A Can to ship several of these clinics to disaster areas over the years, including in 2022 following Hurricane Ian as well as 15 that are in operation serving patients in Ukraine amidst the country’s war with Russia.
Before shipment, HHI packs the clinics with aid for the impacted areas, including hygiene kits, medicines and medical supplies.
“The response efforts in Turkey and Syria will be a long-term recovery because so many hospitals and healthcare clinics have been destroyed,” said Christine Knudsen, senior vice president at HHI. “The sustainability of these clinics is an amazing benefit for substantial enduring disasters like this one.”
Thanks to donors like Amgen Foundation, HHI has sent two solar-powered trauma units to Syria where medical trauma remains a priority. In Turkey, HHI has sent a maternal health clinic, thanks to sponsorship from BD. Because officials in Turkey estimate 150,000 pregnant women have been impacted by the quake, it is critical to provide a safe place for prenatal healthcare as well as delivery.
“Medical support remains one of the top reported needs in Turkey and Syria, including access to medicine and acute trauma support,” Knudsen said. “That’s why these health clinics are so incredibly important. We can pack them with medicine and supplies before they ship overseas and work with our partners to make sure they are placed in communities who need it the most, with doctors on the ground.”
The clinics are produced by converting 40-foot shipping containers into portable medical clinics fully equipped and ready to immediately operate in a disaster area regardless of the surrounding infrastructure. The clinics operate on solar power or generators to relieve the burden on the electrical grid in the disaster zone.
Pictured at top: Christine Knudsen, SVP at Heart to Heart International (Right) and Mike Wawrzewski, founder of Clinic In A Can (Left), stand in front of one of the trauma clinics that was sent to help with earthquake relief.