WHO chief says heading for Syria following deadly quake

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief of the World Health Organization, announced on Thursday that he was traveling to Syria, which together with neighboring Turkey, has been devastated by a powerful earthquake that has killed over 21,000 people.

The WHO director tweeted that he was “on my way to #Syria,” where the organization was “providing crucial health care in the areas hit by the recent earthquake, building on our long-standing work across the nation.”

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The United Nations also said that Martin Griffiths, its Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, would visit the earthquake-affected regions in Turkey and Syria this weekend.

The first aid convoy since the deadly earthquake arrived in rebel-held northwest Syria early on Thursday, a border crossing officer at Bab al-Hawa told AFP.

According to officials and medical professionals in the two nations, the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck early on Monday in Turkey and war-torn Syria has claimed over 21,000 lives and completely flattened entire neighborhoods.

The WHO has issued an alert regarding a potential secondary health crisis that might worsen the initial earthquake and harm Turkey and Syria.

Tedros anticipated that the death toll would keep climbing, saying on Wednesday: “With the weather conditions and ongoing aftershocks, we’re in a race against time to save lives.”

“People need shelter, food, clean water and medical care, for injuries resulting from the earthquake, but also for other health needs.”

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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