Quakes affected 4.8 mln children in Türkiye: Report

Quakes affected 4.8 mln children in Türkiye: Report

Quakes affected 4.8 mln children in Türkiye: Report

Around 4.8 million children throughout the country have been affected by the Feb. 6 quakes in different ways, reveals a report by the International Pediatric Association.

IPA launched a scientific study on children’s vulnerability to earthquakes following the disaster in Kahramanmaraş on Feb. 6.

The study which was conducted by specialized pediatricians across Türkiye revealed that 4.8 million children in the country were affected by the earthquakes.

According to the results of the study, one out of every five children in the country was psychologically, physically or socially affected by the quakes.

IPA External Relations Director Kerem Hasanoğlu said the World Health Organization (WHO) and IPA emphasize that the post-traumatic stress disorder can manifest itself even beyond six months after the event in children, and these effects can suddenly appear, seemingly out of nowhere.

Hasanoğlu stated that the biggest help that people can do for these children is psychological support.

“We have to observe children for up to six months. It has been about three months since the earthquakes. The important issue we need to emphasize is not to remind children of the same subject repeatedly. A child should never be left alone with earthquake images and be reminded of the same scenes over and over again but should be treated with kind and motivational support in order to bring them back to life as soon as possible.”

Emphasizing the importance of the continuity of the support provided to the region, Hasanoğlu noted that since the first day of the devastating earthquakes, the nation and the state in Türkiye have come together and organized moral support visits and sent gifts to these children in order for them to recover psychologically.

Hasanoğlu added that even though everyone showed a very good example of unity, the most important thing here is the sustainability of these humanitarian aids.

According to the director, if people who are currently trying to support the healing process of these quake-hit children for a while were to suddenly withdraw from this task, this would be even more damaging to these children’s psychological state.

“This is a long-term duty, it is necessary to support the psychology of these children in a sustainable way. The psychological impact of the earthquakes on children is manifested in the form of anxiety disorders. These manifest themselves in the form of panic, fear, inability to perform daily activities and lagging behind in their hobbies,” Hasanoğlu said.