World Physiotherapy offers condolences and support to our colleagues in Syria and Türkiye as they struggle to meet the rehabilitation needs of their people.
Physiotherapists in Syria and Türkiye are working to support the many people injured and displaced during the recent earthquakes. World Physiotherapy has sent messages of support and condolence to the Turkish Physiotherapy Association, the Syrian Physical Therapy Association, and the members of both associations.
World Physiotherapy is working with colleagues and partners to provide advocacy and practical support to physiotherapists in Syria and Türkiye.
World Physiotherapy is a member of the World Rehabilitation Alliance and supports the joint statement produced by WRA calling for rehabilitation services to be recognised as a key determinant of outcomes in trauma care and an essential health service, and for rehabilitation services to be accessible, affordable, and equitable for all affected by the earthquakes.
World Physiotherapy reminds its member organisations and physiotherapists around the world:
Only travel to volunteer in the disaster zone if you are part of an established non governmental organisation (NGO) or emergency medical team (EMT).
- if you are part of an organisation that is providing direct support, engage with WHO and the national authorities to ensure aid is being delivered in a coordinated manner
- instead of travelling to volunteer in the disaster zone, consider giving money to established rehabilitation organisations. For example, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Humanity & Inclusion (HI) are already operating in Syria and scaling up their rehabilitation responses. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are both scaling up their medical responses.
- do not donate equipment, unless in response to a request from an organisation on the ground. Ensure any equipment is locally appropriate and ensure you cover the full costs of donation.
Emma Stokes, World Physiotherapy president, said: “Our thoughts are with our colleagues and communities in Syria and Türkiye at this time. We know it is unlikely in an event of this size that the physiotherapy family in Syria and Türkiye will be untouched.
“As an organisation and global community, we are committed to supporting our member organisations, particularly in times of great challenge. We are also liaising with our international partners to assist in advocacy and other requests for assistance as they arise.”