Sun, May 20, 2018 - Page 3 News List

No invite, Taiwan to tout itself on WHA sidelines

STRENGTHS:Taiwan’s delegation will present to health officials attending the event how the nation has helped its allies promote public health and prevent chronic disease

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan has again this year not been invited to the annual World Health Assembly (WHA), but it intends to have a presence on the sidelines of the event in Geneva, Switzerland, including promoting the nation’s achievements in public health and healthcare.

The International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), a government-funded agency that runs foreign-aid programs, is on Wednesday next week to make a presentation in Geneva on Taiwan’s public health-related cooperation projects, ICDF Deputy Secretary-General Lee Pai-po (李柏浡) said on Friday.

The WHA is being held from Monday to Saturday next week.

At the planned event, ICDF is to present how it helped two allies, Belize and Saint Kitts and Nevis, establish basic facilities to prevent and control chronic kidney disease, which people in those nations are prone to, Lee said.

The agency helped train local healthcare personnel and promoted measures for kidney disease prevention with assistance from Taiwanese hospitals, with the goal of lowering the disease’s prevalence in those nations, Lee said.

ICDF is also assisting Paraguay, another of Taiwan’s 19 diplomatic allies, to improve its management of medical data and overall medical services, he added.

Lee said that Taiwan would invite health officials from allies and nations friendly to Taiwan to the presentation, which he hopes would let the world know about Taiwan’s capabilities in promoting public health and preventing chronic diseases.

Taiwan is eager to share with other nations its expertise and know-how in the establishment of medical data systems because of its competitiveness in that field, Lee said.

The publicity blitz is part of Taiwan’s ongoing campaign to secure the support of the international community to help it overcome China’s obstruction and to participate in the WHA.

Since 1997, Taiwan has made efforts to join the WHO, but without success. From 2009 to 2016, when relations with China were better, it was invited to attend the WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, as an observer.

However, Beijing has taken a hardline stance toward Taiwan since the Democratic Progressive Party took power in May 2016, cutting official ties and blocking Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.

Last year, the WHO, under pressure from China, withheld an invitation for Taiwan to participate in the 70th WHA. This year, Taiwan was kept out of the assembly for the second year in a row due to China’s obstruction.

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