Earthquakes, disaster in Syria and Turkey

On 6 February, two strong earthquakes shook South-East Turkey and North Syria. The most serious earthquake in Turkey measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and was caused by a shift of the tectonic plates at a depth of some 17 km below the Earth’s surface. Many smaller aftershocks occurred as only gradually the full extent of the disaster became clear. Almost 57,000 people died in the earthquakes, whole villages and towns were devastated, and millions were left homeless and with little hope of resuming normal life after this dreadful event. The member states of the European Union immediately sent rescue teams, search dogs, and equipment to the earthquake areas, along with promises of financial aid. MARGARETE MÜLLER-BULL FOUNDATION also acted without delay and transferred donations to well-known relief organisations. We also supported our long-standing partner for targeted immediate relief “Aviation without Borders”, which delivered urgently needed supplies directly to the affected areas. The devastation caused by the major earthquakes is everywhere to be seen and rebuilding will take a long time. However, first priority for MARGARETE MÜLLER-BULL FOUNDATION was to be on the scene as soon as possible. Providing effective relief to the survivors fearing and grieving for their families in the rubble of their existence was our top priority. The standard form of treatment, therapeutic hypothermia is not reliably guaranteed to help in case of seizures, intelligence development and infant movement disorders. The rediscovery of an old familiar medication for treating gout in adults promises success in specific cases. Tests on animals and previous small-scale studies point to a significant additional beneficial effect of its pharmaceutical formula in the treatment of small patients. However, complex clinical studies are necessary for the medication to be approved. These take time to furnish evidence of the efficacy and tolerance of the formula and are expensive. The Centre of Pediatric Clinical Studies, University Children’s Hospital Tübingen has been working on this promising study since 2016 in cooperation with 16 European partner institutions. The Covid-19 pandemic has also impacted on the projects, resulting in delays, absences and thus increased costs which jeopardise the continuation of this important study for the local team in Tübingen and in turn, better prospects of a cure for young patients. The MARGARETE MÜLLER-BULL FOUNDATION is conscious of what this would mean. It also knows that applications for funding must be submitted to potential sponsors BEFORE they start, because otherwise a new approval of funds is excluded. Tübingen’s funding needs are high and for this reason we have already shouldered a third of the sum. After all, we want the future to belong to our children, ALL of our children.

© Photo from Çağlar Oskay on Unsplash