At a festive opening ceremony to celebrate the new health centre co-financed by the Order of Malta German Emergency Corps (Malteser) with 75,000 EUR and the Turkish International Blue Cross (IBS), Muzaffer Baca, IBC’s vice-president, the governor of Izmit, the mayor of Yazlik and the regional representative in the Turkish parliament, all expressed their sincere thanks to Malteser Germany.
The centre has been built in Yazlik, province of Izmit, which was struck by a severe earthquake in 1999. In cooperation with the Turkish IBC (International Blue Crescent), Malteser was able to make an important contribution to the improvement of local healthcare. Although it is five years since the earthquake, there are still large cracks in the regional health system. Before the earthquake, about 1,500 people lived in Yazlik; today, the population is 3,000 including many who have come from their destroyed villages into Yazlik.
Until now, patients could only be treated in a small makeshift barracks. The new health centre with its 200 square metres offers six consultation rooms, an emergency room and all the equipment needed in the treatment of common illnesses. The Turkish Ministry of Health will bear the running costs and provide doctors and nurses.
Following the opening of a centre for 170 handicapped children in Izmit last year, the health centre is the second project carried out by Malteser in cooperation with their Turkish partner organisation, IBC, in the former earthquake region.