Turkish medical volunteers offer free surgeries in Honduras

Turkish medical volunteers offer free surgeries in Honduras

Mesude Erşan - ISTANBUL
Turkish medical volunteers offer free surgeries in Honduras

A group of Turkish doctors and nurses have traveled to the Central American country of Honduras to volunteer to perform free medical surgeries for ill and needy children. 

The Turkish medics that are part of the group called Operation Rainbow were in Honduras during Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice holiday.

This year, Professor Ercan Türeci from the Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation at Cerrahpaşa Medical Schools, two specialists and five junior doctors joined the volunteers of the international organization Operation Rainbow, which has provided more than 17,000 children with free surgery for over nearly four decades.

The most striking aspect of Operation Rainbow is that the volunteer doctors cover the expenses of their missions.

Türeci and his team, thus, paid for all the equipment and drugs to be used in medical operations at a hospital in San Pedro Sula. They also covered travel expenses and accommodation during their stay in Honduras.

“Such work is based on devotion and commitment. This can only be done if you believe in sharing and solidarity. And we do,” Türeci said.

“We travel on our own budget. For the most affordable travel possible, we traveled from Istanbul and Moscow first, and then from there to New York and finally, flew to San Pedro Sula,” he said.

According to Türeci, his team will take care of the treatment of 50 to 60 children in Honduras.

“Operation Rainbow touches the lives of up to 800 children each year,” he added.

Türeci himself has taken part in several missions as part of several organizations including Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Operation Smile, Emergency and the Red Cross in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Peru, Palestine and Yemen.

Türeci noted the Turkish assistants work under difficult and poor conditions at the hospital in Honduras.

“Their ability to produce the most work possible under very limited time and in the most effective way will improve. Since there is no intensive care unit, patients should be ready to be discharged from the hospital at once,” he said.

The number of applications for the volunteer work in Honduras has exceeded the quota reserved for the staff. Thus, the patients who would travel to Honduras were decided on by a draw.

“What Türeci has been doing was very interesting for all of us. This is hard work and requires courage,” said Hilal Can, a junior doctor who is part of the Honduras mission.