As members of the World Rehabilitation Alliance, we are shocked at the terrible impact of the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, and our thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones, and those who are injured. While initial efforts focus on search and rescue and lifesaving medical care, we call on agencies involved to integrate the immediate and ongoing rehabilitation needs of survivors and those with pre-existing disabilities from the outset.
Rehabilitation services are a key determinant of outcomes in trauma care and an essential health service, which is a human right. Rehabilitation services must be accessible, affordable, and equitable for all affected by the devastating earthquakes. To support the response, members of the WRA are scaling up, engaging with our national associations and key partners on the ground, and through the WHO we are supporting coordination of efforts. Emergency Medical Teams have been activated and are mobilising.
Many of those affected are experiencing disaster on top of war. With the strong and early integration of rehabilitation into the humanitarian response, a seed of hope and recovery for those in terrible need can be planted today.
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