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By H.E. Fiona Huei-Chun Fan, ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan)  to St.Vincent and the Grenadines

Although COVID-19 is no longer labelled as a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is still critical for countries across the globe to unite to bolster health governance. Taiwan calls on allies and like-minded nations to support its regular inclusion in WHO meetings, and mechanisms, as well as its participation as an observer in the World Health Assembly (WHA), to remedy the geographic gap in global health security, and to construct a comprehensive disease prevention network.

In the recent article by Dr. Hsueh Jui-Yuan, minister of Health and Welfare of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Taiwan’s dedication and experience in managing the COVID-19 pandemic was highlighted. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Taiwan demonstrated its ability to quickly identify and respond to the public health emergency. Its proactive approach, based on transparency and sharing vital information with global partners, has been effective in implementing policies for anti-pandemic resilience.

Taiwan works with SVG in healthcare

In addition to ensuring the health of its own citizens, Taiwan works closely with Sat. Vincent and the Grenadines to enhance the health of Vincentians. The ongoing cooperation project implemented through the Taiwan Technical Mission and medical teams from Taiwan’s Mackay Memorial Hospital aims to enhance the emergency response system for pre-hospital training and community awareness. 

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Some 462 medical officers, nurses and officers from various ministries have completed 20 training courses on pre-hospital care, EMT training and basic life-saving skills. Ambulances, wheelchairs, and other medical items were provided to Vincentians not only from the Taiwanese government, but also from Taiwanese non-profit organisations. Taiwan shows solidarity with SVG in combating global pandemics, as well as demonstrates the steadfast friendship and love from Taiwan.

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Taiwan’s participation in WHO remains limited

However, despite its contributions and professionalism, Taiwan remains excluded from WHO due to unreasonable political considerations and obstructionist tactics employed by China. This is jeopardising the right to health of Taiwan’s 23 million people. 

Taiwan can help build a more comprehensive global health framework

Taiwan remains firmly committed to its professional and pragmatic approach to sharing its experience and expertise with the world to help achieve health for all. The inclusion of Taiwan in WHO and its mechanisms would facilitate closer collaboration in monitoring new virus strains, exchanging diagnosis data, sharing novel vaccine and antiviral research or clinical trial results. This would further contribute to a collective global action against future pandemics.

It is time to include Taiwan in WHO and the WHA

We urge WHO to adhere to the principles of professionalism and neutrality, and to include Taiwan in the WHA as an observer. Taiwan’s institutionalised participation in WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities would build a greater global health network.

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