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Taiwan needs WHO, WHO also needs Taiwan

By Ambassador Allen C. Lou
Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan effectively mitigated the spread of the disease, leveraging its comprehensive public healthcare system, well-trained anti-pandemic personnel, and epidemiological surveillance, investigation, and analysis systems.

Moreover, Taiwan fully supports health-related SDGs and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s targets. Taiwan is willing and able to share its experiences with others to create an innovative health approach that positions the international community working toward the realization of health-related SDGs. The efforts of improving overall health standards are shown in many of our joint efforts with our like-minded partners.

Taiwan is willing to share Anti-COVID success with the World

Taiwanese people have played a pivotal role in the success of Taiwan’s anti-pandemic model. When compared with the 38 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member states, Taiwan ranks sixth-lowest in COVID-19 mortality and case-fatality rates. Taiwan also ranks fourth-highest for coverage rates of at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and third-highest in terms of vaccine boosters administered. None of the data justifies Taiwan’s exclusion from WHO activities.

Taiwan Model in the East Africa – Awaiting to be Explored
Since the establishment of Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland in 2020, healthcare cooperation has long been the flagship cooperation between Taiwan and Somaliland. Health Information System Project (HIS), Maternal and Infant Health Improvement Project, and Dispatchment of Taiwan Medical Mission are implemented. The Taiwan Model of Healthcare Cooperation is combined with software (capacity building and technology transfer) and hardware (follow the priorities and match counterpart’s needs).To assist Somaliland government to combat COVID-19, Taiwan has also shared Taiwan-made vaccines (Medigen), Taiwan-made high-quality medical materials, showing just how Taiwan is actively contributing to the health-related causes of WHO. Although positioned in Somaliland, Taiwan is willing to explore cooperation in the East Africa.

Let Taiwan In and Let World In

Taiwan has not been invited to the World Health Assembly since 2017. Now Taiwan is still seeking to join WHA as an observer and meaningful participation on the WHO activities. To contribute more to the World, Taiwan needs World’s support. Taiwan believes that “no healthcare cause should ever be politized or weaponized”. Taiwan also firmly believes that “Healthcare, sympathy and empathy transcend borders”. Taiwan has the will and ability to contribute more to the World.

As countries work together to build sustainable healthcare development in the post-pandemic era, WHO and all relevant stakeholders should support the inclusion of Taiwan in the World Health Assembly to meaningfully participate in WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities.

Taiwan has been and will continue to work with the world to help ensure the fundamental right to health enshrined in the WHO Constitution are put into practice. In the spirit of the SDGs, Taiwan wishes to bring positive contributions to global public health. Only by fostering an inclusive culture will we be able to have sustainable health development.

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