Oxford researcher deployed with UK medical team to support Turkey following major earthquake

Tuesday 28th Feb 2023, 9.41am

The UK is currently providing a team of roughly 100 emergency medical personnel with a field hospital and clinic in Turkoglu, where the local hospital has been severely damaged due to the earthquake.

Alessandra Morelli, a research midwife at the University of Oxford and Data Manager on UK-Med’s emergency support mission said: ‘This is my first deployment with the UK-EMT, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to support the data management of the deployment. We are in Turkoglu, eastern Turkey, where the effects of the earthquake were devastating. There is a very high proportion of people who have been displaced by the effects of the earthquake, with a temperature at night of -6 degrees.

Alessandra Morelli, a research midwife for the UK Midwifery Study System (UKMidSS) based in Oxford Population Health’s National Perinatal Epidemiology UnitImage credit: Alessandra Morelli

‘There is lack of basic items such as food, water, clothing and blankets. Whilst the majority of trauma cases have been dealt with, we are now seeing many primary healthcare patients with communicable diseases linked to the living conditions and freezing temperatures.’

The team includes NHS staff and Ministry of Defence medics, working alongside Turkish medical staff at Turkoglu to provide urgently needed life-saving care. The charity UK-MED, who provides clinicians for the UK-EMT, is also looking into expanding care to Syria.

‘The local Turkish community is very welcoming. I would like to thank the staff at the University of Oxford that promptly released me to be deployed to Turkey and their continued support,’ Morelli continues.

For more information visit and to support UK-Med visit: Turkey-Syria Appeal – UK-Med