Thursday, 25 August 2011

200-bed hospital to be established in Somalia

24 August 2011, Wednesday / TODAY'S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL
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Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave instructions for a three-year medical presence and the construction of a 200-bed hospital in famine-stricken Somalia. 
In the first stage of the three-year plan, a rotation of doctors and nurses will be sent to the region on a voluntary basis to serve the medical needs of people in need. Physicians and nurses desiring to go to Somalia have already responded to the call. The plan also includes the construction of a fully-equipped 200-bed hospital in Somalia, which has already begun.
The director of the German charitable association Cap Anamur's Somalian projects, Volker Rath, said in an interview with the Anatolia news agency Wednesday that the number of refugees taking shelter in the tent camps erected in the Somali capital of Mogadishu has been increasing with each passing day. Rath said the food items brought to Somalia by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) are not meeting the current needs of the millions of starving Somalis.
Aid associations from Turkey, Germany and Arab countries carried out especially successful aid campaigns in the region, Rath said. He also praised the establishment and success of the Turkish field hospital built in Mogadishu.
A group of Turkish doctors from the International Association for Health and Education (USEDER) will continue to provide health services to Somalis for an additional six months, according to Anatolia. The doctors, who began working in the Somali capital of Mogadishu two weeks ago, have so far provided medical screening for 2,000 people in eight camps.
Faruk Özdemir, a member of USEDER, told Anatolia correspondents that doctors first focused on extremely sick people and children suffering from diarrhea. Özdemir said they had brought two tons of medicines to Mogadishu. "We are eager to reach more patients, but conditions and security problems are preventing it. We are doing our best," he said.
Turkish Airlines and Red Crescent have decided to partner in a "money box" ("kumbara" in Turkish) campaign for Somalia. Announcements typically solely reserved for saftey reminders will now include a call for donations for the region. Red Crescent and Turkish Airlines, which ransport nearly 100,000 per day, expect large returns.
According to a report by the Turkish Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH) on the drought in East Africa, 10.7 million people are waiting for help in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Djibouti.
The İHH report recommends that countries wishing to help East Africa do so by digging wells in the driest regions, opening new hospitals and developing existing ones, supporting sustainable and modern agriculture, encouraging the development of alternative sectors such as fishery, supporting stockbreeding and providing vocational education courses.
The İHH has distributed food to 1,050 families in Somalia this year. The foundation completed 340 water well projects and is currently working on 46 more.


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