The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has donated 7,500 locally-made reusable face masks to five different local government authorities in the country. Each of the Councils received 1500 face masks at a ceremony held at the TIKA Banjul office on August 28.
“I am confident that these face masks being delivered today will go a long way in curbing the spread of Coronavirus in the Gambia,” said Mehmet Akif Eyigun, the agency’s Banjul coordinator.
In total, TIKA expects to donate 20, 000 face masks in the coming weeks to several state institutions including Banjul City Council, Kanifing Municipal Council and Brikama Area Council.
Turkey’s state-run aid agency has initiated several activities to boost The Gambia’s fight to contain the coronavirus outbreak as the small West African country deals with a recent surge in infections.
The first component of the initiative was launched around May when TIKA distributed 1,750 food parcels to needy families in The Gambia. Few months later, the aid body donated sanitary materials to the Bundung hospital.
In July, the agency donated 45 hand washing machines to eight local government administrations across the country. The machines were built by Gambia Technical Training Institute. The initiative is to encourage hand washing among the population as a measure to contain COVID-19.
“The global pandemic (Covid 19) has affected peoples’ lives and economies. At this time, international solidarity is more important than ever before,” said Turkish ambassador to Banjul, Tolga Bermek emphasizing Turkey’s longstanding relations with Gambıa.
Gambia currently registered 2,585 cases and 97 deaths. Almost 200 health workers, including over 30 doctors, tested positive for the virus as at the beginning of August.
“We want to assure the TIKA Banjul office that this donation will get to the intended beneficiary… These materials will help in our efforts to contain Covid 19,” said Chairman of the Mansakonko Area Council, Landing Sanneh. Sanneh is also the President of the Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities.