CDC participates in international disease control forum in Geneva

The Centers for Disease Control under the Ministry of Health and Welfare participated in a forum May 24 with delegates from seven other like-minded countries, discussing international cooperation on disease outbreak response strategies, on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

At the forum, CDC Director-General Chou Jih-haw presented a talk on Taiwan's pandemic preparedness and response capabilities, sharing medical information and experiences in dealing with avian influenza and outbreaks of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. He emphasized that disease control and safeguarding the health of people around the world are universal values that all countries should actively uphold.

MOHW Minister Chen Shih-chung, who also attended the forum, said that Taiwan is committed to upholding its share of global responsibility in preventing the spread of diseases via actively participating in international efforts and sharing experiences as well as organizing medical training and related activities. This will bolster regional disease prevention efforts and help effectively safeguard global health security, he added.

At a news conference the next day, Chen said he believes substantive exchanges are important and meaningful to all parties, noting that the meetings conducted on the sidelines of the WHA�the decision-making body of the World Health Organization�have been well received by international representatives and medical organizations.

The health minister, who is leading the Taiwan delegation in Geneva, said representatives from Taiwan have taken part in over 50 meetings, engaging in professional exchanges with experts and officials from 28 countries and 23 organizations.

According to the MOHW, over the past 20 years a variety of major diseases such as SARS, avian influenza, Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome and Zika have severely threatened the health and safety of people around the world. These outbreaks reflect the need for global collaboration, the ministry said, adding that the WHO needs Taiwan and Taiwan needs the WHO.

This is the first time Taiwan has been excluded from the WHA since it was invited to attend in 2009 following an absence of 38 years. The nation has continuously shared its extensive experience and expertise in a range of areas such as universal health care coverage and disease outbreak management.

Source: Taiwan Today