Pandemic exposes injustices in global system, says Erdogan

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The coronavirus pandemic has once again exposed the injustices and flaws in the global system, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

“We hope that inequalities in the global system, particularly in health and security, can be eliminated as soon as possible,” Erdogan said in a video message to a high-level WHO European Region meeting on health and migration.

“For a more peaceful, more stable, and fairer world, it’s clear we need to learn from our mistakes,” he added.

“It’s impossible to achieve sustainable development goals and universal health coverage in a world that ignores the health of refugees and migrants,” he stressed, adding that he values the WHO’s efforts to develop a new action plan on migration and health in the European region.

“I hope this meeting, which is taking place in an environment where 3 million people have been added to the 85 million refugees in only three weeks, will pave the way for fresh ideas and new solution proposals,” Erdogan said.

Noting that the pandemic has had a “more devastating impact” on vulnerable groups, particularly refugees and irregular migrants, he said: “Refugees’ access to basic health-care services, which is severely limited in many countries, has unfortunately been hampered in this process.”

Erdogan underlined that Turkiye has never hesitated to “share all means at its disposal with those in need while providing high-quality health-care services to its citizens.”

“During the darkest days of the pandemic, we provided medical equipment and critical material support to 160 countries and 12 international organizations that requested assistance from us,” he said.

Turkiye has provided 3.1 million inpatient treatment services to its “Syrian brothers and sisters,” as well as 96.7 million outpatient services through its healthcare facilities, he said.

“We have performed 2.6 million surgeries and administered a total of 8.7 million vaccine doses in our hospitals under our national vaccination rollout scheme,” he said, noting the establishment of 185 migrant health centers in 29 of the country’s 81 provinces.

“We’re gradually delivering the 15 million doses of vaccines pledged during the 3rd Turkiye-Africa partnership summit to our African brothers and sisters,” he added.

“Meanwhile, we are trying to meet demands for our domestic vaccine, Turkovac, as much as we can,” he added.

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