Extending the country's support for its close ally Pakistan, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has set up a medical facility for surgeries of children born with a cleft lip and palate in Pakistan. The health condition affects one in every 523 children born in the country, according to a 2019 study.
The specialized operation theater has been set up at Al Mustafa Medical Center, a charity hospital run by a local nongovernmental organization (NGO), in the southern port city of Karachi.
TIKA coordinator Ibrahim Katırcı, founder of the charity Haji Muhammad Hanif Tayyab and provincial Governor Imran Ismail inaugurated the facility. The facility, according to a statement from TIKA, will perform up to 1,000 surgeries annually. Addressing the inauguration ceremony for the facility, Ismail thanked TIKA and the Turkish government for setting up the state-of-the-art facility for needy children. The Pakistan-Turkey friendship, he noted, is exemplary and will keep on flourishing in the days to come. Katırcı, in his remarks, said the establishment of the medical facility is aimed at giving the children born with a cleft lip and palate a chance to live a normal life.
Tayyab also thanked TIKA and the Turkish government for their contribution to "this noble cause."
The agency, active in Pakistan with various projects from humanitarian aid to access to clean water, recently established an ultrasound facility at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center Karachi, the city's largest public hospital, with five color dopplers. The facility provides free of cost service to up to 6,000 patients a month. Pakistan's first-ever high dependency unit for Thalassemia patients has also been established by the Turkish aid agency in Karachi.
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