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Wed, Apr 12, 2000 - Page 4 News List

Medical alliance will lobby WHO

By Liu Shao-Hua  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan's World Health Alliance (TWHA, 台灣世界衛生聯盟) plans to campaign for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO), when it gathers for its annual meeting in Geneva beginning on May 15.

The 921 earthquake was chosen as the campaign theme this year, to highlight demands that Taiwan should not be isolated from the international health arena.

To bolster Taiwan's international appeal a statement from the Foundation for Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan (FMPAT) said that it is asking the world health body to think again about its global strategy -- "Health for All by 2000" -- which was unanimously adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1981, the plenary body for WHO.

Should Taiwan once again be rejected from accession to WHO this year, they said, then the maxim of "Health for All by 2000" would not be credible.

It is expected that countries with which Taiwan has diplomatic relations will help facilitate Taiwan's entry onto the WHA agenda.

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Health and six medical non-governmental organizations, are scheduled to depart for Geneva on May 13.

They intend to invite allies and friends in the international community to attend an evening party on May 16.

"We are still unsure about too many things," admitted the vice health minister Chang Hong-jen (張鴻仁), adding that the WHA session is too close to Taiwan's presidential inauguration date of May 20 for a concerted approach to be made.

Chang said the line-up of guests from the US and Europe for the party was still undecided. "Only the itinerary for Taiwan's delegation is set so far," he said.

The FMPAT (灣醫界聯盟基金會) is the de facto organizer of this year's campaign.

Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉), office director at FMPAT, said there would be fewer activities outside the WHA this year than in the past.

Taiwan wants to share with the WHA its rescue and reconstruction experience after last year's devastating earthquake, and thank countries that helped Taiwan both during and after the temblor.

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