Syrian doctor dies in Turkey earthquake


Editor’s Note: This story Global Health Reporting Center.


One of the doctors who killed more than 48,000 in the earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria has treated thousands of Syrians, colleagues say.

He was buried last week. As the low mid-winter sun cast long shadows, the body of Dr. Bahig Duedari, along with the bodies of his wife Rania and sister Iman, are heading towards a freshly dug grave in the adoption town of Reyhanli in southern Turkey. was carried. and his daughter Dima. They all died in the earthquake that hit the area on February 6, and they were buried in the same grave on the same day, according to the doctor’s nephew, Sharef Dwedari.

The men gathered to pay their respects, and the boy read the Koran. His voice was emotionally cracked.

“He helped many people in the war and has become like a father figure to me now that he is gone. I made a formal introduction.”Everyone will ask him for help.”

Dr. Bahig Dwedari died with his family during the earthquake in Turkey.

Dwedari was a well-known doctor in his hometown of Idlib, Syria. battle intensifies He fled to Turkey in 2016, according to nephews and colleagues. Shortly after he left, the Ibn Sina hospital where he worked was hit by an airstrike.

After arriving in Turkey, Duedali worked at a hospital run by Orient for Human Relief in Reyhanli, near the Syrian border, providing care for thousands of Syrian refugees who had come seeking safety and medical assistance, he and his colleagues said. In Turkey, according to friends and colleagues who worked with him.

Syrian doctors are often the foundation of their communities, and the death of even one can have a huge impact on the Syrian people. As of June 2022, at least 945 medical workers have died in Syria, mostly in attacks by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia. doctor for human rights.

“He always had a smile on his face. He only charged a small fee for consultations. If you couldn’t pay, he would give you time for free,” said Dwedali with Dwedali at the Orient Hospital. Coalition of Medical Relief Organizations, an NGO based in Switzerland. He asked not to use his name for his security reasons.

At the tomb, the imam began the traditional Islamic funeral prayer dur, while the mourners repeated “Amen” in unison, interrupted by the crowing of a rooster.

Dwedari and his family were buried last week.

It takes a long time before a tombstone is installed by a Turkish cemetery, but the loved ones of those buried know where the tombstones are. A few other newly dug graves had lone olive or rosemary bushes growing.

As the tomb was filled, some of the mourners gradually drifted away, while others crouched by the tomb, clearly upset.

“Everyone who knew the doctor loved him,” said Dwedari patient Mohammed Jamal. “He came here to be safe, but it turns out he wasn’t.”

In Syria last week, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had seen “the destruction of entire communities, the unspeakable suffering of people, and the courage and determination of survivors and responders.”

Tedros said more than a decade of war in the region had left the town devastated and abandoned, leaving the health system incapable of coping with an emergency of this magnitude. WHO is providing care to some survivors and has launched a $43 million appeal to support the response in Turkey and Syria.

WHO has also dispatched medicines and supplies to the affected countries to support care for more than 500,000 people, including emergency surgery. again, Assad To allow additional cross-border access points, it complements aid already in place for Syria before the earthquake hit.

“The search and rescue phase is coming to an end, but for WHO, the mission to save lives is just beginning,” Tedros said.

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