Disease incidence rises
The occurrence of hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes are increasing rapidly in the country, with an estimated 198,000 new cases of the three diseases emerging every year, the latest report released by the Department of Health showed. The estimates are based on the results of a follow-up survey conducted by the Bureau of Health Promotion between June 2007 and May last year among 6,600 people aged 15 and older. These people also took part in a survey carried out in 2002 to assess the prevalence of the three types of diseases. Through various tests provided for the survey, 2.75 percent of the respondents were diagnosed as new hypertension cases, 2.06 percent were found to be new cases of hyperlipidemia and 0.71 percent were new cases of diabetes. The figures translate into 490,000 new cases of hypertension, 370,000 new cases of hyperlipidemia and 130,000 new cases of diabetes in the country over the five-year period until 2007, the report said. The survey also found that the risk of hypertension patients suffering a stroke or developing kidney disease within five years is 2.8 times and 1.7 times higher, respectively, than those without the condition.
Overseas studies expanded
The government is planning to expand an overseas study program for its employees, as part of efforts to enhance the quality and international competitiveness of civil servants, Central Personnel Administration (CPA) Minister Chen Ching-hsiou (陳清秀) said yesterday. At present, 70 to 80 intermediate-level civil servants a year are sent to the UK, the US, or Singapore for short-term study programs that run from three to six months, CPA officials said. The CPA is seeking to increase the number of openings next year to more than 100, including those for long-term study programs, they said. Chen said there was once a system under which civil servants were allowed to study abroad for one to two years, but it was suspended.
Aboriginal test held
More than 1,000 Aborigines from 13 officially recognized tribes yesterday took the Aboriginal language proficiency test at 47 test centers in Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Nantou, Kaohsiung, Hualien, Taitung and Lanyu (蘭嶼). The Aboriginal language proficiency test is the most diverse language test in the country, as the test is offered in 42 dialects of the nation’s 14 Aboriginal languages. A total of 228 people took the test for the coastal dialect of the Amis language making the Aboriginal dialect the one with the most test takers, followed by central Amis with 160 test takers. Only 16 people each signed up to take the Saisiat and Kavalan tests, and no one signed up for the Thao test. Divided into oral and written parts, a test taker must get a minimum score of 56 in the written test and 84 in the oral test to pass the exam. Those who pass the exam are entitled to certain benefits such as getting bonus points on school entrance exams.
Storm injures three
Tropical Storm Molave moved toward Hong Kong yesterday after leaving at least three people injured in Taiwan. In Kaohsiung, a mother and her daughter riding a moped were slightly injured when a tree fell on them yesterday. Strong winds toppled a tent at the site of the canoe polo event at the World Games in Kaohsiung, injuring one staffmember. Molave was expected to make landfall in Hong Kong last night or this morning.