Turkey Earthquake – Disaster Response Deployment Opportunity

Dear colleagues,
As you are aware, a massive earthquake in Turkey and northwest Syria has led to widespread damage and a death toll of over 3,700 people and injury to thousands more. Humanitarian relief organizations are working with the World Health Organization and local authorities to provide emergency medical aid under these unfortunate circumstances.

I would like to share an opportunity for faculty members from our Division to urgently assist with disaster response efforts. Among the organizations on the ground is Humanity First (www.humanityfirst.ca), an entirely volunteer-based disaster response organization that is presently responding to calls from the WHO and the AFAD (Turkish National Emergency Management department) to provide emergency medical response services.

They are looking to collaborate with our Division and are seeking an orthopaedic surgeon who is willing and able to travel to Turkey in the next few days for a brief trip to provide emergency orthopaedic trauma services. As per Humanity First, emergency hospital and operating room resources will be available/assigned to surgeons who are able to come and assist in the response. Furthermore, the Turkish Embassy in Canada supporting these efforts by providing airfare/travel expenses for emergency medical personnel who can travel on an urgent basis.

Given this urgent need, if any of you are interested and able to travel to Turkey for a short trip, please let me know as soon as possible so that I may connect you with the appropriate contact persons. One response team is expected to leave today, and another will likely leave in the coming days. It is more than likely that if one of our staff surgeons is able to make the trip, a few of our trainees would be able to go along with you to assist with your efforts, along with other support personnel.

This is an opportunity to do some great humanitarian work on behalf of our Division, although I understand how incredibly difficult it is for individuals to leave on such short notice.


Peter C. Ferguson MD MSc FRCSC FAOA
Albert and Temmy Latner Chair,
Division of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery
University of Toronto