By Mustapha K Darboe
A Turkish state-run aid agency is training a group of 55 Gambian medics and paramedics in Banjul, the capital of Gambia.
Nine doctors from Ankara Yildirim Beyazil University, sponsored by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), gave training on controlling infectious diseases to 30 people at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) of the University of the Gambia Medical School.
Mustafa Akkaya, a Turkish assistant professor from Ankara Yildirim Beyazil University, said the second week of training would focus on surgery. Twenty-five Gambian medics and paramedics will be participating in the program.
Dr. Zeliha Kocak Tufan, the coordinator for the team on infectious disease also from AYBU, said the session was beneficial because the students have “shown their interest”.
“The training was very fruitful. It will help us strengthen our capacity in the field of surgery and controlling infectious disease,” Modou Njai, a Gambian doctor at EFSTH who took part in the training, told Anadolu Agency.
Since the fall of the country’s autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh, Turkey has launched several capacity building programs in Gambia.
In addition to giving scholarships to a number of Gambians to study in Turkey this year, Turkey trained 10 Gambian diplomats in November at the Diplomatic Academy of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Six officials from Gambia’s Fisheries Ministry also benefited from TIKA-funded training in November-December.
Another seven officials from Gambia’s regional governments have also benefited from Waste Management, Urban Planning and Design and Revenue/Resource Mobilization Training Program, which ended on Dec. 9.