Somali minister praises Turkey for its contribution to health sector

September 18, 2012, Tuesday/ 17:14:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Somali health Minister Abdiaziz Sheikh yusuf has praised Turkey for its contribution to the development of the health sector in Somalia.

Yusuf went to watch surgery being carried out by Turkish doctors who are working as part of the Turkey-backed “Africa Cataract Project (ACP)” that is being conducted by the Turkish Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH) and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) at the international eye care center in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. Speaking to the Anatolia news agency during his visit to the eye care center on Tuesday, Yusuf thanked Turkey and said Turkish doctors are making significant contributions to the training of health care personnel and to the development of the health sector in the country.

“Most of the time hospitals in Somalia fail to perform their functions. The treatment of eye diseases is very difficult. Most of the patients suffering from eye diseases generally don't get the chance to have surgery after an initial medical examination in the country,” he said.

Stating that Turkey has invested greatly in the region in recent times, Yusuf further stated that the construction of a hospital for the treatment of children has just started and that they are trying to improve Somalia's health care sector with contributions, mainly from Turkey and the Arab countries.

“Somalia's health system should keep pace with innovations in the world. Health care personnel should keep improving and acquiring new information. Turkish health personnel are training and developing Somalia's personnel. Somalia's health sector is now in a much better state compared to previous years. Turkey has made great contributions to Somalia's improvement. We still have much to do in this regard. To this end, we are signing bilateral contracts with Turkey,” Yusuf noted.

Yusuf chatted with Turkish doctors helping the Somali people and was also briefed by the doctors about the work being conducted for the ACP project in Somalia.

The ACP is a project that aims to carry out 100,000 free cataract operations in 10 African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Somalia, Sudan and Togo.

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