Minister of Health Dr. Fahrettin Koca was a speaker at World Health Organization's (WHO) daily briefings.
Speaking at the media briefing where he was invited to accompany WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister Koca shared his views and assessments on COVID-19's impact on healthcare workers, steps taken to protect HCWs, and vaccination of HCWs in Turkey with the international public.
"We take strength from dedicated people"
Minister Koca noted that Turkey's response was well-received by the Turkish nation and the world, and said, "We take strength from qualified, selfless, and dedicated people."
“I wholeheartedly agree with the call of the Director-General”
Minister Koca noted that Director-General Ghebreyesus recently posted about an important issue, stating that “healthcare workers saved the world, now the task of the world is to protect healthcare workers” and stressed that healthcare workers around the world should have access to a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
"I wholeheartedly agree with this call. With the same understanding, we vaccinated 1 million healthcare workers in only 45 days." said Koca and continued,"Although, we have yet to produce our own vaccine, I would like to note that we have shared a portion of the vaccines supplied with other countries to be delivered to healthcare workers. Healthcare workers work for all humanity. We have another responsibility, which is to ardently advocate for the access of healthcare workers to vaccines. As Turkey, we have taken on a facilitator role by building diplomatic bridges between vaccine-producing countries and those having problems accessing them.
Not only one single day, but the whole year of 2021 has been dedicated to health and care workers. Many activities will be held on this occasion throughout the year. We are committed to making the most active contribution to these events. We will continue advocate for the process through ideas, projects and events on international platforms, especially at the United Nations. We will try to further improve the dignity of healthcare workers, the status of their profession, as required by our ethical responsibilities."
"I expect for your personal support to the digital platform”
"Stories of heroism are being told from large cities to the most remote corners of the world in hundreds of different languages" said Koca.
"Right now is the time when we should write down history. For this purpose, as a first step, we are working on creating a digital platform with WHO to serve as a memorial dedicated to health and care workers. Tedros, my dear friend, I expect your personal support to this platform."
At the end of his speech, Minister Koca addressed health workers all over the world and said, “The entire humanity is grateful for you. The humanity will find the best way to express this gratitude. Thank you."
"Turkey's successful response has been effective”
Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, up-to-date information submitted to international public by WHO, the only organization of the United Nations (UN) specialized in the field of health, has gained considerable importance.
From time to time, the WHO Director-General is accompanied by representatives of international organizations, politicians and global health leaders who have taken on important roles in the fight against COVID-19.
Turkey's successful COVID-19 response, its global leadership and its approach to healthcare workers have been instrumental in Koca's invitation to the briefing.
The briefing, which was closely followed and received great attention by the entire world, especially by the international media, was broadcasted live from WHO's COVID-19 website and its social media accounts.