Visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines Health Minister St. Clair Prince said Tuesday that technical and financial assistance from Taiwan had been a “tower of strength” as his country seeks to overhaul its national care system.
At a press gathering held by the Embassy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Taipei, Prince praised Taiwan’s continued support for his country’s national health reform and resilience project, which includes building a new state-of-the-art hospital just outside of the capital Kingston.
According to Prince, the Arnos Vale Acute Care Hospital is expected to complete construction around 2025.
The health minister also paid tribute to Taipei for its help in tackling noncommunicable diseases, which are a leading cause of death in the Caribbean.
“We have a major problem in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and indeed in the rest of the Caribbean with noncommunicable diseases,” Prince said, describing the issues as “probably the most important threat to our livelihood and well-being.”
Currently, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a diabetes prevention project that is funded by Taiwan, while Taiwanese technical experts are engaging with local health professionals to see how to prevent, manage, and treat diabetes, Prince said.
Taiwan’s Mackay Memorial Hospital is also training health care workers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the development of prosthetic legs, Prince said.
According to a report from the St. Vincent Times last week, there were a total of 170 amputations — 69 amputations below the knee and 101 amputations above the knee — in the Caribbean country between 2014 to 2016.
“We are trying to deal with it. Taiwan has been a tower of strength in this regard,” Prince said.
“This year and the coming year in 2023, we are going to put a lot of emphasis on the prevention of diabetes,” the minister added.
“Taiwan of course will be alongside us, helping us to move forward,” Prince said. “They will be helping to buttress the whole system, we’re getting the money from the World Bank, but Taiwan is going to help us with technical support and any other support, of course, Taiwan has pledged.”
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Embassy organized the press event for Prince, who is visiting Taiwan for the 2022 Global Health and Welfare Forum from Oct. 30-31 in Taipei. He will leave Taiwan on Wednesday.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel