Minister of Health Dr. Fahrettin Koca attended the opening ceremony of the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly, which is being held in Geneva, Switzerland. Minister Koca addressed to the Executive Board on the second day of the event.
Minister Koca conducted bilateral meetings in the margins of Assembly which is being held in Geneva Office of United Nations (UN) and is the decision-making body of World Health Organization (WHO).
Getting together with Algerine counterpart Dr. Abdurrahman Bin Bozid at first, Koca offered to form a Joint Working Group between Ministry of Health of Türkiye and Ministry of Health of Algeria in order to follow the activities of both countries in the field of health.
Minister Koca conducted bilateral meetings with Minister of Health of Uzbekistan Bezhod Musayev and Minister of Health of Azerbaijan Teymur Musayev.
Minister Koca addressed to the Executive Board in the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly
Addressing to the Executive Board on the second day of the Assembly, Koca discussed the effects of Russia-Ukraine War on health infrastructure in Ukraine, global food crisis and combating Covid-19 outbreak.
Underlining that Türkiye delivered humanitarian aid to Ukraine especially drugs and medical supplies, Koca stated that it is necessary to create a safe medical corridor to evacuate patients and injured people.
Noting that the greatest global threat is nourishment and food safety, Koca said “I think it is essential for WHO to take measures against food safety threat from now on. Türkiye will always be a constructive body of international negotiations.”
“The efforts of WHO are insufficient.”
Evaluating the struggle of WHO against Covid-19, Koca said “it was expected that WHO would protect health right of each individual and each nation around the world during this process. From time to time, we observed their efforts and appreciated it. However, the efforts of them are insufficient. I strongly believe that we should take concrete and more humanistic steps, which regulate intellectual property, during public health emergencies.”
Working meticulously on every stage of global struggle against Covid-19 outbreak, Koca underlined that health system in Türkiye was never interrupted in any of the stages.
Minister Koca stated “under the leadership of our President, Türkiye not only provided high-level service to the citizens but also donated protective equipment to 161 countries and 14 international organizations, exchanged information and experience, and delivered vaccine via AVAT.”
Koca also said that TURKOVAC, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Türkiye, is supposed to be a part of international solidarity.
Pointing out that WHO should be strengthened based on solidarity and justice, Minister Koca added “we adopt this position for preparing legally-binding outbreak agreement, strengthening International Health Regulations, supporting its financial independency.”
Minister of Health met WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus.
Meeting WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the margins of the Assembly, Minister Koca expressed that Türkiye endeavours for low- and middle-income countries to access Covid-19 vaccine. WHO Director General Ghebreyesus also expressed his wish to cooperate with Türkiye to combat the outbreak.
Expressing his appreciation that Türkiye developed Covid-19 vaccine-named TURKOVAC, Ghebreyesus noted that BioNTech can also be counted as Turkish Vaccine because it was developed by Turkish professors.
Minister Koca conducted bilateral meetings with Minister of Health of Indonesia Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
The theme of this year’s Health Assembly is ‘Health for peace, peace for health’. In the Assembly, preparedness for new global outbreaks, the effects of Russia-Ukraine War on health infrastructure in Ukraine and the Global Health for Peace Initiative by WHO were focused on.