One year after the earthquake

Ottobock expands relief efforts to Syria

Image One year after the earthquake
The Ottobock workshop in the hospital in El-Bab

Tuesday, 6 February 2024

One year ago, on February 6, the severe earthquake killed around 60,000 people in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria. About 9,000 people have lost arms and legs. And for a year now, Ottobock and the Ottobock Global Foundation have been supporting the development of a medical technology infrastructure in Turkey. "After initially treating 187 patients on Turkish territory, we are now expanding our relief efforts to Syria," explains Sr. Implementation Manager Ömer Deveci. Ottobock currently treats 44 patients in an orthopedic workshop affiliated to a Syrian hospital in El-Bab. One of them is Halis Kassab.

Independence for Halis Kassab

Halis Kassab lost his leg by an airstrike in Syria at the age of 35. Like the numerous earthquake victims, he is benefiting from the expansion of the patient care network in Syria as well as from Ottobock’s digital fitting solutions. The time directly after the amputation of his right lower leg with the initial fitting was particularly challenging for him: "Two functioning legs were always a matter of course for me. I couldn't and wouldn't accept that any physical exertion with a prosthesis would be painful in everyday life from then on."

And Halis Kassab didn't have to. Thanks to the digital fitting software MyFit TT from Ottobock, he now wears a socket that is tailored especially to his needs. "For the first time since my injury, it feels really good to stand on both feet again. I can move around freely and am finally independent again," he says.

This marks the beginning of a new chapter for Halis Kassab, also professionally. As a school bus driver, it is now his mission to bring the children safely to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon. He is not only responsible for himself, but also for the children in his hometown. For Halis Kassab, this is an incredible improvement in quality of life: “My work enables me to contribute to the common good and it gives me new courage.”

"Impressive stories like Halis Kassab's show us that we can change lives and give people new hope with team spirit and innovative technologies. I am proud to be part of this," says Ömer Deveci, grateful and at the same time humble towards our users. When he looks back on the last twelve months, he talks about one of the most important experiences of his life.

Our colleague Ömer Deveci witnessed the earthquake with his family very close to the epicenter. That's why it's a personal concern for him to keep telling the story. Together with O&P expert Uli Maier, he conducts digital trainings for technicians in Turkey. 22 participants are already benefiting from the know-how in 3D scanning and 3D-printed test sockets. In doing so, they are playing a key role in expanding the medical technology infrastructure: The digital MyFit TT and TF Design fitting solutions are now being used in 19 Turkish cities.

One year later – moving moments in Turkey

Last year, Ottobock already supplied numerous amputees with prostheses in the mobile workshop and patient care containers in Adana. See how Aziz Çevlik (45 years old from Kahramanmaraş), Fatma Tekin (63 years old from Adıyaman), Aysima Turan (5 years old from Adıyaman), Fatma Şahin (66 years old from Gaziantep) and Ümit Yurdakul (40 years old from Adana) are taking their first steps with their new prostheses.

If you would like to support our relief campaign “People in Need – Help for Earthquake Victims”, please transfer your donation to the special account:

Ottobock Global Foundation

Deutsche Bank

IBAN: DE55 1007 0000 0937 0370 00

BIC: DEUTDEBBXXXSubject: „People in Need – Help for Earthquake Victims”

In our Newsticker, we regularly provide information on the current development of the Ottobock Global Foundation's relief campaign for people in need – relief for earthquake victims. You can also follow our social media activities on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter. We are looking forward to a Like!


One year after the earthquake - Syrian patient with prosthesis

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