West Lancashire Freemasons played their part in assisting the Masonic Charitable Foundation to send £60,000 in immediate aid following the disaster, to the British Red Cross, UK for UNHCR and UNICEF who are leading the relief effort on the ground.
Locally, and realising the massive need for medical professionals and equipment on the ground, the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity looked to help. Immediately upon hearing the devastating news in Turkey-Syria, they made a donation of £10,000 to UK-Med, a charity which is based within Manchester University. UK-Med sent an assessment-team to Turkey following the catastrophic event. The team, made up of surgeons, paramedics, emergency medical staff, operations and logistics staff, travelled to Turkey within hours of the disaster. On 11 February, they dispatched a field hospital from their Manchester warehouse to get vital medical aid to the 1,000s of people in need of help.
As well as the cold weather conditions and infrastructural damage, one of the biggest challenges is the sheer number of people needing help. 100s of 1,000s of people are lacking many medical services. UK-Med set up their field hospital near the city of Gaziantep in Turkey: a 67 square metre tented polyclinic with its own infrastructure, staff, housing, medication, supplies and water sanitation. Staffed by their expert team which includes doctors, nurses, logisticians, paramedics, community workers and WASH engineers, the field hospital will treat up to 100 patients a day.
The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity is immensely proud to be associated with this appeal and have worked closely with UK-Med which told them that speed here is the key. Injuries can become life-threatening without the medical and surgical care to prevent them from developing deadly infections and multiple organ failure.
As well as providing stabilisation and minor trauma, the team will be focussing on outpatient care, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and general practice. UK-Med believes that everyone should get the healthcare they need when disasters hit. They bring together the best of the NHS, humanitarian and local health expertise at the worst of times and in 2020, they responded to calls for help in 13 countries, from Bangladesh to Zambia. They work with local healthcare staff to strengthen their response skills, enabling health services to be better prepared for emergencies.