The first Taiwanese doctor to work with the humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has published a book that documents his experiences serving in a war-torn Middle East country.
The book, launched in Taiwan yesterday, is titled The Route Home and features the 45-day journey of surgeon Raymond Soong (宋睿祥) to Yemen on an MSF mission.
Soong, 35, was a general surgeon at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Keelung when he decided in August last year to team up with MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders, on a Yemen mission.
During his period of service in the war-torn state, he performed dozens of operations on patients injured in air raids and bombardments.
“I have always thought that I needed to travel to far away places to really help people,” said Soong, who signed up for his first MSF mission in Liberia in 2004.
At the book launch, Soong’s father, who is also a doctor, spoke with pride of his son’s contribution.
“Although my son was not trained as an orthopedist or a gynecologist, he had to operate with whatever resources he had, using courage and wisdom,” said Soong Yung-kuei (宋永魁), vice president of Linkou Medical Center. “This is experience that cannot be gained in medical school.”
Jeffrey Chen, a doctor with about 15 years experience in mobile medical missions, said decisions such as the one Raymond Soong made can make a huge difference to people in conflict zones.
“It doesn’t make much of a difference if we have one doctor less in Taiwan, but it is a matter of life and death for people in war-torn areas,” he said.
Although there is huge demand for doctors in MSF, there are only two Taiwanese doctors, including Raymond Soong, who are registered as MSF volunteers, according to MSF Hong Kong.
About 200 Hong Kong protesters have come to Taiwan to immigrate for “political reasons” since June last year, and authorities accepted the applications of about 20 of them, Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Shih Yi-hsiang (施逸翔) said on Tuesday. The approvals followed investigations by the Mainland Affairs Council and the National Immigration Agency, he said. The applications were made according to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), Shih said. “However, there is still a significantly larger number of people waiting for their cases to be processed,” he added. The article stipulates that: “Necessary assistance shall
The source of a COVID-19 cluster infection aboard the naval supply ship Panshih (磐石) in March originated in Taiwan, not Palau, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The earliest known confirmed case among the crew reported being sick on March 10, before the ship visited Palau from March 12 to 15 as part of a “Friendship Flotilla,” said Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳), convener of the center’s expert advisory panel. That meant the infection was likely brought aboard before the vessel departed Kaohsiung on March 5, Chang said. Although the CECC investigation did not find the original source of the virus, it
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated that “only the government elected by Taiwanese can represent Taiwanese,” rejecting Beijing’s “one China” principle, which Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) endorsed on Sunday. “Taiwan is a universally recognized democratic country and only Taiwanese have the right to decide Taiwan’s future,” the Taiwanese ministry said in a statement issued on Sunday. The statement came in response to Wang’s comments at a news conference in Beijing, where he said that the “reunification of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is a definite trend of history.” “The Chinese government’s intention to impose ‘unification’ on democratic
TROJAN HORSE: Chinese funding could infiltrate Taiwan as Hong Kong investments, so the special status of Chinese-controlled organizations in the territory should be canceled A civic group consisting of Hong Kongers in Taiwan yesterday issued a statement urging the government to provide more concrete support for Hong Kong in the face of Beijing’s imposition of a national security legislation, while urging the government to terminate preferential treatment for Hong Kong-based organizations controlled by China. China’s National People’s Congress yesterday passed national security legislation for Hong Kong. Earlier, Hong Kong Outlanders issued a “press statement on Pompeo’s report on Hong Kong national security legislation,” referring to a report that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday submitted to the US Congress to confirm that Hong Kong