Sat, Dec 27, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Mobile medical missions caused ‘sensation’: ICDF

STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA

Two mobile medical missions Taiwan sent to Guatemala and Haiti to help with the aftermath of natural disasters in those countries “caused a sensation,” the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) said.

As the mission to Guatemala reached out to several “very remote rural settlements to which even the country’s own medical staff would not go,” it was very much welcomed by the local residents, ICDF secretary-general Chen Lien-gene (陳連軍) said on Thursday,

He said the 10-member mission, including physicians, surgeons, pharmacists and nurses from Taipei Medical University Hospital, visited eight towns in Izabal and Chiquimula provinces during its two-week stay in Guatemala.

The mission provided much-needed medical assistance and supplies, benefiting around 3,000 people, in the wake of widespread flooding and landslides caused by a week of incessant rain in October, Chen said.

In addition, Taiwan’s first mobile medical mission to Haiti provided care to around 2,650 people who suffered from recent disasters in the capital, Port-au-Prince, he said.

A series of devastating storms killed nearly 800 Haitians and left hundreds injured in August and September, while approximately 500 students and teachers perished when a school in Port-au-Prince collapsed last month.

Chen said that including these two medical missions, the ICDF had dispatched 18 missions, comprising 165 medical staff, to 13 countries this year, helping around 30,000 people.

The ICDF, affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is tasked with providing technical assistance, investment and loans, international human resources and humanitarian aid to countries in need, whether or not they have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

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