Turkey, Health, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Turkey sends Somalia domestic ventilators to tackle virus

Turkish-made ventilators produced with technological advances will be breath of life for our Somali brothers, says president

Berk Ozkan and Orhan Onur Gemici   | 02.05.2020
Turkey sends Somalia domestic ventilators to tackle virus

ISTANBUL

Turkey on Saturday sent a shipment of medical supplies, including new Turkish-made ventilators, to Somalia to help the Horn of Africa country combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The locally manufactured ventilators, made through recent technological advances, "will breathe new life into Somalia, which suffers from a severe shortage of ventilators," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter.

Sending the aid is not a matter of civilization but of conscience, he added, stressing: "Our nation’s conscience and capabilities are at the service of oppressed peoples and nations in need." 

Along with the medical aid, Turkish president sent a letter to his Somali counterpart Mohamed Farmajo.

According to the Communications Directorate of Turkey, the letter read: "Your honorable President, Valuable Brother, I convey my condolences on behalf of my nation and myself to all of our Somali brothers who lost their lives due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic."

Erdogan said he truly believes  early measures taken since the first day against the virus will help overcome the crises in the countries with a minimum damage.

"I wish you success in your efforts to combat the outbreak in your country," he said.

Recalling his words from their phone call from last week with Farmajo, Erdogan said Turkey will continue to stand by the Somali government and people.

"Additionally to the aid sent on April 17, I hope the medical aid sent today to your country will support your fight against the epidemic," he said.

Erdogan also said that he would like to meet the president in the shortest time possible and expressed his best wishes, wished well-being and welfare for the friendly country. 

After Turkey’s all-out effort to develop its own ventilators, which bore fruit last month, Somalia -- which lacked the devices, critical for fighting coronavirus -- is the first foreign country it sent the ventilators to.

At the president’s order, aid prepared by the National Defense Ministry, Health Ministry, and Industry and Technology Ministry were loaded on aircraft Friday night at Etimesgut Military Airport in Ankara, the capital.

The aid includes a large amount of preventive healthcare equipment such as 5,000 intensive care ventilators co-manufactured by Turkish firms Biyosys, Baykar, Aselsan, and Arcelik, among with diagnostic kits, overalls, and masks.

Marking the aid shipment, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said that tough times have taught the Turkish nation to be confident and inspired it.

Varank stressed that they are witnessing the success of the technological advances started under the leadership of President Erdogan.

The medical aid packages bore the Turkish presidential seal along with the Turkish and Somali flags and a famous saying by 13th-century poet and mystic Mevlana Rumi: "There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness."

* Writing by Dilara Hamit in Ankara

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