Taiwan and the Republic of Somaliland have signed a Medical Cooperation Agreement aimed to promote the current healthcare system in Somaliland. Liban Yusuf, the acting Foreign Minister, who is also the Vice Foreign Minister of Somaliland, has inked the agreement with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, Dr. Joseph Wu on Wednesday, June 16. The deal was signed in a virtual meeting attended by other officials including Somaliland’s Minister of Health Development, Somaliland’s Ambassador to Taiwan, Amb. Mohamed Hagi, and Taiwan’s Ambassador to Somaliland, Amb. Allen C. Lou.
The agreement will accelerate the efforts by the Ministry of Health Development of Somaliland to improve health systems, particularly public health facilities, to provide an affordable healthcare system to all. The first phase of this agreement will run in five years and encompasses training for Somaliland medical staff, enhancing clinic services, modernizing Hargeisa general hospital and public health research.
Minister Liban expressed his gratitude to the government and the people of Taiwan for their continuous support and friendship. Minister Yusuf also highlighted the importance of this agreement: “This medical cooperation will further consolidate our friendship and marks a new milestone in the path towards more integrated and forward-looking cooperation between our two countries ….. Somaliland medical professionals will be able to get the needed training from Taiwan’s highly skilled medical professionals and in turn, this will improve the Somaliland health system.” In his remarks, Minister Wu stated that health care, along with agriculture, education, and ICT, is one of the key sectors for cooperation between the two countries and that ICDF programs in the country will help raise the standard of medical care in Somaliland, allowing Taiwan to do its part for #GlobalHealth assistance.
Health care cooperation between Taiwan and Somaliland started in 2007 via Taiwanese and Somaliland physicians exchanging training and medical services. Over the years, the two sides have implemented a variety of programs and trainings. At the end of last year, the two sides initiated Maternal and Infant Health Care Improvement Project with the involvement of Hargeisa Group Hospital, Taiwan ICDF (International Cooperation and Development Fund), and Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital. Further, Taiwan’s non-governmental organization provided medical assistance to Somaliland people, including free medical services by “Taiwan Root” which is benefiting thousands of local people, donations by “Changhua Christian Hospital” to Somaliland Hospitals, and the TSMC Charity Foundation and MedTech Medical Group donations of medical supplies to assist Somaliland to combat COVID-19.
There are already several development programs going on in Somaliland such as the Somaliland government digitalization program under the information technology cooperation agreement and another program under the agriculture cooperation program aiming to improve the quality of vegetables grown in the country.