Turkey has offered a helping hand to the West African nation Togo to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, Togolese authorities announced that the country received 210,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from Turkey as part of increased cooperation between the two countries.
The Turkish donation of China's Sinopharm vaccine is due to help Togo continue the ongoing vaccination campaign of its population of more than 8 million.
The vaccines, ceremonially delivered by Turkish Ambassador Esra Demir, are a part of the reinforcement of the country's current vaccination scheme, according to Moustafa Mijiyawa, Togo's health minister. He said they also mark the strengthening of relations between Togo and Turkey. "It is the concretization of the discussions on health between our two presidents some time ago," Mijiyawa added.
Demir said "the donation is a promise from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Togolese authorities have recorded over 2,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 243 deaths. On Sunday, 138 active cases were reported. Togo officially has nearly 3 million vaccine doses available for use to its accelerated vaccination campaign underway since Nov. 26. The country aims for 2 million more vaccinations by Dec. 31, or about double the current number. Authorities have been on alert since the emergence of the new omicron variant. They have taken measures to contain its spread, including a 72-hour quarantine for visitors from South Africa, where the variant was first detected.
Turkey is concerned about the global injustice in vaccine distribution and has donated vaccines and other medical aid to 158 countries and international organizations helping those countries since the outbreak started. Togo is among the countries which are part of Turkey's efforts to expand its outreach in Africa and Ankara opened an embassy in the country last April.
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