Pandemic Prevention Distance Learning & Sharing for Officials in Ally Countries

2021-12-03

雙方簽約與會人士合影

Group photo of participants signed by both parties

In order to develop Taiwan’s health-related diplomatic relations, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University planned to hold special national health system classes in 2020 for high-level government officials from Taiwan’s ally countries to learn from Taiwan’s health care experience. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, these special classes are now being offered online, aimed to share Taiwan’s public health and epidemic prevention experience to enhance the technical expertise and policy planning abilities of the government officials.

Founded in 2003, the International Health Program of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University has trained a number of students who subsequently became health administration officials in Taiwan’s ally countries. For example, Ann Matute, who graduated from the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, is a former deputy director of Health Services in Belize. This year, the University collaborated with the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) in organizing these special national health system classes for Taiwan’s ally countries and those with whom Taiwan has friendly relations. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first class in 2021 was held remotely this summer in the form of a seminar. The National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University referenced Taiwan’s epidemic prevention and public health experiences in relation to COVID-19 prevention, Hepatitis B vaccines, dengue fever, and tuberculosis as well as Taiwan’s health care policies. This information is really valuable to government officials.

These special classes were proposed by the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), and a contract between the ICDF and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University was signed. Lin Chi-Hung, president of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, stated that the International Health Program and ICDF have been cohosting advanced special degree classes for many years. However, this was the first time that they cohosted special health classes for mid-to high-level government officials in Taiwan’s ally countries. The goals were to educate these officials and demonstrate Taiwan’s soft power, thereby elevating Taiwan’s diplomatic status.

Medicine and health care are Taiwan’s specialties. The National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University collaborated with Taipei Veterans General Hospital on the One Country, One Center Project to develop the Vietnam market; worked with the German Aesculap Academy to provide East Asian surgeons with cerebrovascular surgery training, bolstering Taiwan’s diplomatic relations; and launched the special national health system classes to strengthen the relationships between Taiwan and its ally countries. In addition to medicine and health care, President Lin announced that National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University would establish an international academy, integrating the University’s International College of Semiconductor Industry (located in the Chiao Tung Campus) and International Health Program (located in the Yang Ming Campus) to market Taiwan’s leading sectors on the world stage.

Timothy Hsiang, secretary-general of ICDF, noted that the ICDF and National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University have worked together for 18 years, with more than 30% of their graduates subsequently employed in government public health departments upon returning to their countries, and 30% employed in medical institutions, colleges, or universities. The special classes for Taiwan’s ally countries and those with whom Taiwan has friendly relations illustrate Taiwan’s commitment to foreign aid, allowing its experience to be successfully replicated in other countries.

Link: https://www.nycu.edu.tw/news/1730/

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