Chad is among the havens for people of African countries forced to flee their homes amid conflicts and poverty. The African refugees, however, have difficulty accessing health care services.
Volunteer Turkish doctors from Doctors Worldwide, an Istanbul-based nonprofit organization, deliver medical services to thousands of refugees at health centers in Chad. In 2021, Doctors Worldwide helped children with moderate and extreme nutritional deficiencies at the Sido Refugee Health Center. Also, health services were provided for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, according to a statement from the Turkish charity.
Mobile medical teams visited refugees living in rural areas to provide 11,648 nutritional examinations, 1,187 nutritional treatments and 9,431 primary health services throughout the year. They also provided 2,233 gynecological examinations and 222 birth services to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers throughout the year. The charity provided medicines to 12,927 people and laboratory services to 4,470 people in Chad. Also, 4,018 shots of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to patients and hygiene packages and protective materials were given to 7,136 people.
In addition to health services, the nonprofit provided humanitarian aid to 80,007 people and met the food needs of 2,401 people during Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fit. To enable access to clean water, volunteers drilled 11 water wells in the drought-hit regions, assisting 10,873 people.
Yahya Tanrıkulu, the coordinator of Doctors Worldwide, said 100,000 refugees who migrated to Chad due to the Central African crisis at the end of 2013 lived in camps established in the southeast of the country. He noted that according to United Nations data, there are more than 623,000 Central African refugees in Chad and neighboring countries. "The fact that the population has been increasing continuously in Sido camps since 2014 and insufficient hygiene conditions are causing the health conditions to worsen in the region. In a region where the negative effects of the pandemic on life are felt severely, people with incomes below $1 per day also have very difficult access to basic health services," he added. "At the same time, the humanitarian crisis is rising day-by-day due to the effects of drought and climate changes," he further said.
"As Doctors Worldwide, we have been supporting the people of the region with health services since the Central African crisis. We are continuing our work at our health center in Sido Refugee Camp, which is located in the Maro region of Chad and holds 50,000 refugees.
"Due to the high rates of newborn and maternal mortality in the region, we will establish a new mother-child health and childbirth center. We will continue to strengthen and provide our support to African countries, especially in health and basic needs," he outlined.