By Andac Hongur
ISTANBUL (AA) - The International Pediatric Association (IPA) is working together with the Turkish government to improve conditions of Rohingya children in Bangladesh, as Turkey sets standards for care of refugee children, the head of the IPA said.
"The Turkish government has absolutely set the standards for care of refugee children. We know that the refugees are about 60 percent children under the age of 15. It is even a little bit higher with the Muslim Rohingya children," the head of the IPA, Errol Alden said in an interview with Anadolu Agency.
Alden said the Turkish government did a "tremendous job" with Syrian refugees and worked in refugee camps around the world.
"In Turkey for example the Syrian refugee children have the same rights as Turkish children. They have had mental health [treatment], they have education so all these things combined make this actually a model for how to deal with the refugees," he said.
"We are working with the Turkish government, I think we are going to be able to make life a little better for these [Rohingya] children," he said.
Alden said that the goal of the IPA is to work with the Bangladesh Pediatric Society and the Bangladesh government to set up the best system with the help of the Turkish government for the Rohingya children.
"If we take care of them, they are going to be normal productive citizens. If they are not taken care of, their background and the things they had to witness will take what their future will be," he added.
- 'Rohingya children are the future'
IPA executive director William Keenan said Rohingya children constituted the future.
"We have to love those children. They are the future of all of us," he said.
"The support that they require desperately is really fourfold: One is being clean, hygiene. The other is nutrition, the third would be prevention such as immunizations to protect them, and the last would be emotional support because this is what makes us the people we become," he added.
Kerem Hasanoglu, head of the external relations department of the IPA, said that when he came to office he brought Rohingya Muslims to the agenda as their situation needed to be prioritized.
Hasanoglu said that Turkey is conducting work on refugees which needs to be used as a study sample to promote the country in this regard.