Turkey sends Somalia domestic ventilators to tackle virus

Turkish soldiers stand in front of a donation of medical supplies from Turkey to Somalia, Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, May 2, 2020. (AA Photo)

Turkey on Saturday sent a shipment of medical supplies, including new Turkish-made ventilators, to Somalia to help the Horn of Africa country combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The , made through recent technological advances, will be the "breath of life for our Somali brothers," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Twitter.

Sending the aid is not a matter of civilization but of conscience, he added, stressing how the capability and conscience of the Turkish nation stands with the oppressed and the needy.

After 's all-out effort to develop its own ventilators, which bore fruit last month, – which lacked the devices, critical for fighting – is the first foreign country it sent the ventilators to.

At the president's order, aid prepared by the National Defense Ministry, Health Ministry, and Industry and Technology Ministry were loaded on aircraft Friday night at Etimesgut Military Airport in Ankara, the capital.

The aid includes a large amount of preventive health care equipment such as 5,000 intensive care ventilators co-manufactured by Turkish firms Biyosys, Baykar, Aselsan, and Arcelik, along with diagnostic kits, overalls, and masks.

Marking the aid shipment, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said that tough times have taught the Turkish nation to be confident and inspired the humanitarian help.

Varank stressed that they are witnessing the success of the technological advances started under the leadership of President Erdoğan.

The medical aid packages bore the Turkish presidential seal along with the Turkish and Somali flags and a famous saying by 13th-century poet and mystic Mevlana Rumi: "There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness."

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