Free medicine is provided from 25 field pharmacies in the earthquake region

Stating that it is very important to have uninterrupted and healthy access to medicine in natural disasters, Prof. Tayfun Uzbay stated that pharmacies, which are the most important links of the pharmaceutical supply chain, were seriously damaged in earthquake regions. Prof. Tayfun Uzbay stated that 25 field pharmacies were established in Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Gaziantep, Adıyaman, Şanlıurfa and Malatya, which were affected by the earthquake, and free medicines and medical supplies were provided. Emphasizing that new field pharmacies will be opened in case of need, Uzbay announced that the necessary drugs used chronically were given by questioning the status of those who applied through their Turkish ID number.

In case of need, new field pharmacies will be opened

After the earthquake, Üsküdar University Faculty of Medicine Head of Medical Sciences Department Prof. Tayfun Uzbay said that 25 field pharmacies were established and medicines were provided free of charge for earthquake victims who were affected by the earthquake and needed medicine. 

Pharmaceutical supply chain severely damaged

Emphasizing that one of the important issues in such natural disasters is to ensure uninterrupted access to medicine in a healthy way, Prof. Tayfun Uzbay said, “It is vital that both the immediate and effective treatment of the injured survivors and the access of the survivors to the drugs they are constantly using or will use. This is a very large-scale disaster and approximately 13-14 million people in our 10 provinces were affected by the disaster. Pharmacies and pharmacists in Hatay, Adıyaman, Kahramanmaraş, Malatya, Gaziantep and Kilis, which are the most important links of the pharmaceutical supply chain, were also severely damaged. In some of these provinces, access to medicine suddenly disappeared, while in others it was severely disrupted. Due the fact that pharmacies were also destroyed, pharmacists lost their lives or were left under the debris. We also lost Head of Pharmacist Chamber in Adıyaman Pharmacist Hüseyin Kemal Taş with his family.”.

Pharmacy services must get alarmed

Prof. Tayfun Uzbay pointed out that pharmacy services were stopped in many provinces and districts in the earthquake area and continued his remarks as follows:

“The lack of access to medication is also of great importance for patients who survive and have to use medication chronically. For example, lack of access to their medication is fatal for someone who has diabetes and is dependent on insulin. Similarly, lack of access to medication can lead to permanent and serious health problems and even death for those with blood pressure patients, epilepsy patients, thyroid patients, and those with other chronic diseases who have to use medication continuously. This is also a very important point, as it can lead to indirect losses for survivors. On the other hand, it is essential that surgical materials, especially anesthetic drugs and various serums, are sufficient and accessible for the treatment of those who were removed from the debris or injured during the earthquake. It is of great importance to restore access to medicine and pharmacy services in terms of healing the wounds and increasing survival after the earthquake.”

Field pharmacies were created at many points

Stating that the Turkish Pharmacists’ Association (TPA) is an experienced non-governmental organization with 54 pharmacist chambers scattered all over the country and it is a very strong and fast-acting non-governmental organization in such disasters, Prof. Tayfun Uzbay said, “The Turkish Pharmacists' Association has made significant contributions in terms of both access to medicine and financial support in forest fires, flood disasters and mining accidents. In this disaster, the TPA has had a good reflex so far and continues to do so. Immediately after the earthquake, the TPA Central Committee and the Supervisory Board convened and quickly determined the situation, and implemented their plans for access to drugs in coordination with the relevant pharmacy chambers. For such cases, there was a mobile truck pharmacy used by the TPA. However, the scale of this disaster is enormous. For this reason, not only mobile truck pharmacies, but also mobile or field pharmacies were created at many points with the containers provided.”.

Free medicines are provided in 25 mobile pharmacies.

Stating that the pharmacies that set out from the first day of the earthquake were established at different points in the earthquake region, Prof. Tayfun Uzbay said, “It is worth expressing that the medicines and all kinds of medical supplies provided from these pharmacies are free of charge. As of today, there are 6 in Kahramanmaraş, two in the center, 4 in Türkoğlu, Afşin, Pazarcık and Elbistan, 6 in Hatay, one in the center, two in Defne, and one in İskenderun, Kırıkhan and Samandağ. There is a total of 25 pharmacies operating in Gaziantep, 2 in Islahiye and Nurdağı, 4 in Malatya, all at various points in the center, 5 in Adıyaman, 3 in the center and in the districts of Besni and Gölbaşı, and 2 in the center of Şanlıurfa. Additional containers will continue to be supplied if new ones need to be opened as needed. All kinds of medicines can be accessed from these pharmacies. The status of the applicant is investigated through the Turkish ID number and the needed chronic medications are given. In addition, medical and material support is provided to surviving hospitals and nearby field hospitals.”.

TEB continues its activities in disaster areas without interruption

In addition, the chambers of pharmacists in the provinces that were not affected by the earthquake also established field pharmacies, especially in the districts in need, with the medical supplies and drugs they provided in an organized manner. Prof. Tayfun Uzbay concluded his remarks as follows:

“In addition to medication donations, they also collect clothing, food and drink and deliver them to the region. Volunteer pharmacists are constantly visiting the region, and the volunteers are periodically renewed to keep the power alive and the service continuous. As part of my duty in the Central Committee of the Turkish Pharmacists’ Association, I try to reach Ankara and support the coordination activities from the center. Some of our Central Committee and Supervisory Committee members are currently managing the coordination of pharmaceutical and pharmacy services in critical points such as Adıyaman, Malatya, Hatay and Kahramanmaraş. Many of our chamber presidents and board members are also scattered in the earthquake zone. Together, they work devotedly to prevent any disruption to a vital issue such as medicine. Our crisis desk in the center consists of TEB President, Secretary General, Vice President, Treasurer and other members and TEB employees. They are in close communication with the field. Moreover, communication continues with the Ministry of Health and AFAD. There is currently no concept of overtime here. We are in an effort to close this great disaster with the least damage by doing our part for everyone.”.


Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)