A sixth-year medical student at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan has been elected as the next president of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA).
Li Po-chin (李柏錦) was elected at the IFMSA general assembly meeting in Rwanda last week by a vote of 51 to 27 against a candidate from Tunisia and his term is to run from October to September next year.
Li is now IFMSA’s regional director for the Asia-Pacific and previously was Federation of Medical Students in Taiwan president.
Photo: Liu Wan-chun, Taipei Times
The spread of COVID-19 in Europe had made some IFMSA members hesitant about attending the meeting and concerns were raised about whether staff needed to make special arrangements, he said.
People had reservations about the WHO’s view and asked about Taiwan’s travel advisories for various nations and its understanding of the situation to compare it against the WHO’s, so he provided IFMSA with information about the measures adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
An IMFSA general assembly was held in Taiwan in August last year, and in the past its members were interested in Taiwanese culture and its bubble tea, but now they want to know about the government’s response to COVID-19, as well as the nation’s healthcare system, Li said.
At a time when Europe is facing a shortage of masks, people were also curious why Taiwan still has masks to use, he said.
He and other IMFSA representatives from Taiwan explained to federation members about the government’s disease prevention measures, he said.
In the past, many people did not know that Taiwan was not in the WHO, but now newspapers and medical students in many nations believe there has been a problem with the WHO’s response to COVID-19 and think that it is biased in favor of China, he said.
What the Taiwan’s IMFSA delegation and future medical students need to do is continue to convince the international community of the importance of Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO, he said.
Li said that he hopes to help IMFSA members, future leaders in the field of medicine, to understand Taiwan so that there can be a better foundation for Taiwan’s cooperation with the international medical community.
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