Turkish doctors to open hospital in Congo

A group of doctors from Adana province have decided to open a hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the end of next year as part of their volunteer activities in this central African country.

The doctors provided medical check-ups in the country during last year's Eid al-Adha holiday in mid-December. The Medical Officials Foundation (SAMEDER) Adana branch will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Aug. 23 in order to provide medical check-ups and to take the first step in establishing a hospital there.

The hospital SAMEDER is to establish in Congo will resemble the Ottoman külliye, or residential complex, in that it will have polyclinics, operating rooms, administrative offices, lounges, guesthouses and a cafeteria all in one location. The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will provide a five-acre area for the hospital in Kinshasa, the capital city. The 30-member SAMEDER team, which has 27 doctors, one pharmacist and two dentists, will also perform feasibility studies for the project, in addition to carrying out the medical check-ups. The group's coordinator, Doctor Derya Atılgan, spoke with Today's Zaman, saying that the doctors plan to initially open six departments in the hospital: orthopedics, cardiology, surgery, ophthalmology, internal medicine and pediatrics. This will increase to 11 departments at a later date. Atılgan said Turkish volunteer doctors will work at the hospital in 15-day shifts. "The hospital will also serve as a training facility for Congolese doctors. We are planning to employ Congolese doctors and medical staff also." The doctors expect to see 5,000 people in Kinshasa, circumcise 200 children and conduct about 50 operations during their five-day stay in the capital. After that they will go to Kasai-Occidental in the south of the country, one of the poorest regions in the country, for three days. The majority of the people living in this region will see a real doctor for the first time in their lives.