The Minister of Health, Dr. Fahrettin Koca chaired the Health Session of the 3rd Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit. The session titled “Mobilizing the Potential for African Health Needs During and After the Pandemic Era” was attended by African CDC Head of Emergency Operations Center, health ministers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Libya, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe and representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Minister Koca, who delivered the opening speech and moderated the session emphasized that the Covid-19 pandemic had added new links to the global chain of inequality and injustice, and said, “Only 0.6 percent of the Covid-19 vaccines administered in the world have been administered in the African continent, and only one-fourth of healthcare workers in Africa have been vaccinated. This is unacceptable."
Minister Koca recalled that Turkey had supported 45 countries in Africa since the early days of the pandemic and donated 1 million doses of vaccine. "The donation of 10 million doses of vaccine through the COVAX Facility, most of which to Africa, is underway", said Minister Koca and noted that Turkovac will be made available soon for general use.
Minister Koca continued:“We are striving to share our experience in the field of health, our social, political and cultural experience, the opportunities and resources we have with African countries on the basis of mutual benefit. We have 37 cooperation agreements in the field of health with 25 countries located on the African continent. As per the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we continue to provide quality health care to our African brothers and sisters through friendship hospitals located in Sudan, Somalia and Niger, which were constructed by TIKA. In these hospitals, we not only provide healthcare, but also contribute to the professional development of the local medical personnel. Currently, more than 100 doctors in Somalia and Sudan continue their specialization training. In addition, we have organized 9 health weeks in 5 countries across Africa, performed surgeries on a total of 100 thousand patients, offered 7,800 consultations, and provided theoretical and practical training to 450 local staff. Within the scope of bilateral cooperation agreements, we have treated more than 2,300 African brothers and sisters from 23 countries for free in our hospitals affiliated to our Ministry in Turkey. We have trained more than 500 African medical personnel from 9 African countries within the scope of the project we have carried out in cooperation with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.”
At the end of the meeting, joint declaration on health between Turkey and Africa was adopted.