Turkey to bolster humanitarian projects in PH

MANILA -- The international development cooperation arm of the Republic of Turkey is eyeing more projects next year, after the success of its medical missions in partnership with the local government of Manila.

According to Rahib Abdullah, project assistant of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) Philippines, the medical mission held in Sampaloc, Manila on Saturday is the fifth of their six planned sessions in the metropolis.

"TIKA has a lot of projects. Iba-ibang projects but in the Philippines, more on livelihood assistance. We also have projects before, we gave medical equipment to Amai Pakpak Medical Center last 2016," he said. "Right now, we are fixing a project with Gawad Kalinga to be implemented this December."

The upcoming feeding project, which is in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), would focus on the rehabilitation efforts of conflict-torn Marawi City.

"Previously, we had projects on livelihood assistance on fishing, goods production, rice production and vegetable production," Abdulla said.

For their medical screening project aimed at delivering humanitarian assistance and other health services to Filipinos, Abdullah said the idea was to actually start it near Manila as an initial model and at the same time see prospects of replication.

"Iyon ang tinitignan namin, baka puwedeng ma-replicate in other cities in partnership with the local government unit (That's what we're eyeing. Maybe we can replicate the project in other cities, in partnership with the local government unit)," he said.

In an interview, Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan disclosed TIKA's upcoming projects and programs in the coming months.

"Sabi sa akin nung kanilang country director, magkakaroon daw kami ng feeding program and other projects of TIKA in the near future (Their country director told me we will hold feeding programs and other projects of TIKA in the near future)," she told the Philippine News Agency.

TIKA's medical mission covers six districts in Manila, and is poised to conclude on December 9.

In every session, Lacuna-Pangan said five wheelchairs, five nebulizers, and five walking sticks are given free of charge.

Among the attendees, Yolanda Datu, daughter of 78-year old Belen Datu, said the free medical assistance had been helpful, especially to her mother who, for six years, struggled to move around without a wheelchair.

"Malaking tulong po sa nanay ko ito (This is a big help for my mother)," she said after receiving the equipment. "Hindi na siya makalakad. Halos anim na taon nang walang wheelchair ang nanay. (She can't walk anymore. She has been moving around without a wheelchair for six years)

The project provided the appointment of doctors, dentists and necessary technical personnel, including volunteers, and supplies of needed medical supplies and medicines.

Medical devices were supplied and basic medical tests including ECG, sugar measurement, x-ray imaging, blood pressure measurement and blood group detection were performed free of charge.

TIKA is the pioneer institution under the Prime Ministry of the Republic of Turkey responsible for the implementation of development projects and programs in more than 100 countries covering health and humanitarian programs, education and agriculture.

Source: Philippine News Agency