By Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Turkey's state-run aid agency, has donated essential materials to the Black Lion hospital in the Ethiopian capital in support of children suffering from leukemia.
As part of the donation, TIKA gave the hospital wheelchairs, blankets, and mattresses.
Speaking after receiving the donation on Wednesday, Dr. Yirgu Gebrehiwot, the director of the Clinical Service at the Hospital’s Health Science College, expressed delight over what he described as a "humane gesture".
He said the beneficiary department was the only one in the country that provided healthcare for pediatric oncology patients.
"There is a yawning gap in the provision of pediatric oncology treatment in the country," Dr. Yirgu said, adding that more than 70,000 children across the country had leukemia whereas the oncological pediatric in-patient ward was capable of accommodating only 26 patients at a time.
He called on TIKA to provide greater support for the expansion of the service.
After handing over the donation, Burak Ozden, TIKA’s deputy coordinator in Addis Ababa, expressed happiness to have seen "smiling patients and devoted doctors".
TIKA has so far helped equip 360 health centers and trained 3,500 health personnel worldwide.
The agency's activities in Ethiopia have been focused on delivering humanitarian services and development since 2004.