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Turkey earthquake: The children whose names have been wiped

Turkey earthquake: The children whose names have been wiped

Turkey earthquake: The children whose names have been wiped

Turkey earthquake: The children whose names have been wiped

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  • Children are too young to realize how much they’ve suffered.
  • Children are un-named, either their parents deceased or untraceable.
  • More than 260 injured children in the country’s disaster zone have yet to be identified.
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Turkey: The injured children in Adana City Hospital are too young to realize how much they’ve suffered.

I observed medics in the acute care unit bottle-feeding a six-month-old girl whose parents had gone missing.

There are hundreds more unnamed children whose parents are either deceased or untraceable.

The earthquake destroyed their homes and has now erased their names.

Dr. Nursah Keskin grips the hand of the baby girl in intensive care – known only by the tag on her bed: “Anonymous”.

She has multiple fractures, a black eye, and her face is badly bruised, but she turns and smiles at us.

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“We know where she was found and how she got here. But we’re trying to find an address. The search is continuing,” says Dr. Keskin, a pediatrician and deputy director at the hospital.

Turkey-Syria earthquake: New-born and mother saved after four days in  rubble - BBC News

Many of these examples involve children rescued from collapsed buildings in other parts of the country. They were sent to Adana because the hospital is still operational.

Many more medical facilities in the disaster area have collapsed or been damaged. Adana was transformed into a rescue hub.

In one transfer, newborn newborns were brought here from a maternity unit in a critically damaged hospital in Iskenderun.

Turkish health experts claim there are already more than 260 injured children in the country’s disaster zone who have yet to be identified.

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This figure may grow dramatically when additional locations are addressed and the true extent of homelessness becomes clear.

Dr. Keskin leads me through the crowded corridors. In an emergency area, earthquake survivors lie on trolleys, while others are draped in blankets on mattresses. We make our way to the surgical ward, which is similarly crowded with injured children.

We encounter a girl who the doctor estimate is about five or six years old. She’s dozing off while hooked up to intravenous drips. According to the staff, she has a head injury and several fractures.

I inquire whether she has been able to tell them her name.

“No, it’s only eye contact and gestures,” says Dr. Ilknur Banlicesur, a pediatric surgeon.

Children can’t communicate

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“Because of the shock, these children cannot really talk. They know their names. Once they’re stabilized a couple of days later we can [try to] talk,” she explains.

Video shows two children rescued from building rubble after deadly  earthquake in Turkey

Unidentified children have been matched to residences by health officials in Turkey. However, many of the addresses are little more than ruins. Nameless youngsters have already been taken into care in at least 100 situations.

Turkish social media has been flooded with images depicting missing children, detailing which floor they lived on in collapsed buildings, and expressing hope that they were rescued and transported to a hospital.

Surviving family and health ministry officials have been scouring medical facilities for them.

The wounded continue to arrive at the Adana, Turkey hospital. They are both stunned and fatigued.

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Everyone here, patients and doctors alike, is a survivor.

Dr. Keskin lost family members in the earthquake and sought refuge in a hospital with her children as aftershocks came.

I inquire as to how she is coping.

“I’m good, I’m trying to be decent, because [the children] truly need us.

“However, I thank God that I still have my children. I can’t imagine anything more painful for a mother than the loss of her child.”

Next to us, young patients in wards await the return of their parents.

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Some people have been reunited. However, the rest of the earthquake’s victims remain unidentified.

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