07 August 2019

Turkey Provides Treatment to Somalian Refugees in Kenya

The "Seeing Eyes Smiling Faces" Health Camp organized by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in order to sustain the memories of the martyrs of July 15 is continuing at the Dadaab Refugee Camp on the border of Somalia after being held in the Garissa State.

At the health camp organized in cooperation with TİKA, the UNHCR, and the Hayrat Foundation, more than 250 eye surgeries will be performed by July 26th.

The first phase of the project is carried out in the Garissa state of Kenya with the participation of students which went from Turkey to Kenya with the Experience Sharing Program and the second phase of the project is being implemented between July 22-27 in cooperation with TİKA, the UNHCR, and the Hayrat foundation, with the support of Kenyan health NGOs, and at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) Hospital at the Hagadera Refugee Camp and at the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Hospital which provides services to the Ifo and Dagahaley refugee camps. In the first three days of the camp, surgeries were performed on 150 patients, more than 20 of which were children. Until the end of the health camp, which drew the interest of refugees, surgeries are expected to be performed on more than the targeted 250 patients.

One of the main supporters of the project, UNHCR Dadaab Camp Director Magatte Guisse, stated that Dadaab is in need of more sectoral support from relief agencies and added that the security concerns about Dadaab and Northern Kenya can be solved only through such health studies. Guisse stated that she would like to see more specialized foreign health teams in the region.

Residents of the camp had been waiting for months for the eye camp

The Dadaab Refugee Camp complex consists of four different camp areas: Dagahaley, Ifo, Ifo 2, and Hagadera. The tough living conditions of the camps, in which the refugees from the border neighbor country, Somalia, resides, are what draw attention the most.

Hasan Abdile, a 74-year old living in a house made from the bushes in the Hagadera camp C region and tent fabric procured by the UNHCR, escaped in the year 2000 from the city of Kismayo, where the civil war in Somalia was heavily experienced. Abdile, who has been living with his nine children in the camp, had been suffering from cataract for seven years and waited for about one year for this surgery. The attendants of Abdile, who had a successful operation, his son Ahmet Hasan and his daughter Habiba Hasan expressed their gratitude to the Turkish people for their father's recovery.

Habiba Hasan, who stated that there was a shortage of specialists in the health services at the camp, said that patients were transferred to Garissa due to the shortage of specialists in the fields of ophthalmology, gynecology, and orthodontics. Patients who are not able to be transferred to Garissa have to postpone their treatment.

Within the scope of TİKA's "Access to Inclusive and High-Quality Health Services Support Program", in which TPP and Hayrat Foundation volunteers participated, more than 500 cataract operations were performed, more than 20 of which were performed on children. Furthermore, 5,000 eye screenings were completed, and 500 eyeglasses were distributed. 

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