Address of Prof. Eyup Gumus at the 68th World Health Assembly
Dear General Director,
Before starting my speech, I would like to express condolences, on behalf of my country Turkey, for the Nepalese citizens due to devastating earthquake in Nepal. I’m sure that the hearts of all countries here are together with Nepalese citizens as well. Turkey has stood by Nepalese friends since the beginning of the disaster, contributing to thesearch and rescue operations with a Medical Rescue Team, as well as providing Humanitarian Aid, promptly inthe first 24 hours. Turkey will keep on extending supportand standing by the needy.
It is sad to observe that, disasters and humanitarian emergencies occupy significant place in our global health agenda. Recent examples are, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the earthquake in Nepal and the mass displacements due to political conflicts in our neighbouring countries where nearly 2 million Syrian citizens have been welcomed by Turkey. All these incidents once again revealed, the necessity and importance of international cooperation, solidarity and powerful organizations acting only with humanitarian reflex.
I would like to congratulate WHO for its success in this period especially in tackling the heavy burden of the Ebola outbreak. On this opportunity, I would like to stress upon the decision to constitute an international task force which we also consider it quite necessary and supported as a joint sponsor of the Decision 65 by 20.
We also find it reasonable that these reformist activities have been carried out within WHO reform context which we supported all along. However, I would like to underline that disasters and health problems due to regional instabilities should be considered, equally important as the risks of communicable diseases in this new structuring period.
The major determinants in tackling our health issues are, political commitment, strong governance and resilient health systems, structured on well-planned man power, along with international cooperation and solidarity. In the past, economic sustainability was accepted as the main indicator of the resilient health systems. Today, we clearly see that the response capacity foremergencies and humanitarian health crises proves to be the major components of resilient health systems. Experiences are turning into real-time tests.
In Turkey we are providing health services for 2 million Syrian guests with the same quality as we provided to our citizens. Resilience of our health system roots from the Health Transformation Program that is being implemented since 2003, based on equity, powerful leadership, qualified health work force, sustainability and good governance.
Our national immunization programme covers 350.000(three hundred and fifty thousand) Syrian Children living in Turkey. We managed to control spreading of the wild poliovirus crossing European border. 51.000 Babies were born, 322.000 admissions in-patient, 250.000 surgeries out of 4 million Out-patient services were provided for Syrians in Turkey. The cost of services exceeds 5,6 billion dollars. Unfortunately, there was neither Contingency Fund nor any significant support from any International community. I think this is not the solidarity we have been discussing since yesterday.
In Turkey,we are providingsame health servicesfor 2 million Syrian guests as of our own citizens. Thanks to the Health Transformation Program that is being implemented since 2003 based on equity, powerful leadership, qualified health man power, sustainability and good governance.
As of the year 2015, we have reached the date of the targets of MDG's. Although important successes have been made within MDG, we are facing the fact that there are still many goals to be reached. We shouldn’t be discouraged...Within the context of these goals, we have to keep on working with enthusiasm and allocating resources in the upcoming periods as well.
I would like to point out that, we support Post-2015 Global Malaria Strategy that has been included in the agenda as Malaria still affects millions especially in African region. We also appreciate to see this sensitivity in WHO’s proposed Program Budget for 2016-2017.
While concluding, I would like remind all esteemed and mindful delegates about
friends living in the occupied Palestinian territory, lacking health services besides humanitarian living conditions and convey our good wishes once again to citizens of Nepal severely hit by earthquake and African friends recoveringfrom Ebola.
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