Earthquake in Turkey

Resident physician aids recovery efforts in Turkey

Man in Front Of His Home after earthquake in Turkey

Dr. Rojulpote captured this photo of a man standing before the ruins of a building in the Hatay Province of Turkey while he was in the country on a humanitarian mission in February.

Dr. Chaitanya Rojulpote, a PGY-3 internal medicine resident and chief resident of research and scholarly activity, has been a witness to the toll a humanitarian crisis can have on people of all ages and knows the important role volunteers play in recovery efforts.

When refugees from Ukraine poured into the border town of Medyka, Poland, in April 2022 seeking safe haven from Russia’s invasion of their country, he flew overseas and teamed with a nongovernmental medical relief organization to render aid in makeshift medical tents. From there, he addressed the medical concerns of young and old, alike, oftentimes offering caring reassurances while tending to their medical needs.

Dr. Rojulpote is making a presentation about recovery efforts in Turkey on Tuesday, April 11 at 5 p.m.

In February 2023, a natural disaster killed tens of thousands of people in Turkey and left untold damage to their infrastructure as entire cities were reduced to rubble due to 7.8 and 7.3 earthquakes and more than 10,000 aftershocks.

Dr. Chaitanya Rojulpote
Chief, Scholarly Activity

Within two weeks of the earthquake, Dr. Rojulpote purchased airfare to Istanbul, Turkey, where he caught a connecting flight to Adana, Turkey. From there, he drove 4 ½ hours to the earthquake site so he could volunteer his medical services with International Medical Relief, an international nongovernmental organization that provides health care to vulnerable and underserved populations by recruiting health care professionals and doctors.

Dr. Rojulpote and other volunteers provided care to the citizens of Turkey on the ground floor of a local hospital, before a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the region and compromised its structural integrity, requiring the team to move their care to a medical camp. He was 12 minutes from the epicenter of this earthquake, which caused buildings in the area to collapse. He treated trauma acute and chronic medical conditions and trauma cases.

The Hatay Province, where he was based, also straddled the border with war-torn Syria. Volunteers and residents in Turkey could hear the far-off military activity from the neighboring country.

Dr. Rojulpote will make a presentation about his humanitarian mission on Tuesday, April 11 at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of The Wright Center for Community Health Scranton Practice. The PowerPoint presentation features videos and photographs of the devastation and heartfelt messages from Turkish residents, that when translated, state: “We will build here again.”