WHO warns of worse secondary Health crisis in quake hit areas

GENEVA: The WHO warned Wednesday of a secondary health crisis threatening to strike Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, which could be worse than the quake itself.
Monday’s 7.8-magnitude tremor has killed more than 17,500 people in Turkey and Syria, flattening thousands of buildings and trapping an unknown number of people.
The World Health Organization said there was a race against time to save lives — and then ensure survivors stay alive in the dire circumstances.
Robert Holden, the WHO’s earthquake response incident manager, said the immediate focus was on saving lives but insisted it was “imperative to make sure that those who survived the initial disaster continue to survive”. “We’ve got a lot of people who have survived now out in the open, in worsening and horrific conditions,” he explained, with disrupted access to water, fuel, electricity and communications. –Agencies