World health security calls for global partnership

In 2015, Taiwan experienced its worst dengue fever outbreak on record since 1987, with 43,784 reported cases.

In the light of the continuing threat posed by dengue fever, Zika and chikungunya, and the fact that they are all transmitted through mosquitoes and give rise to similar symptoms, Taiwan and the United States have been co-organising international training workshops on laboratory diagnosis for these diseases since last year.

Through this international partnership and sharing initiative involving 18 countries, including South and South-east Asian nations, we hope to improve the diagnostic capacity for mosquito-borne diseases.

Taiwan has also conducted more than 50 disease prevention and control programmes and training courses on major diseases, including Aids, tuberculosis, malaria, Sars, Ebola, Mers, Zika, dengue, breast cancer, and chronic renal failure for more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and the South Pacific.

In the case of the West African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe, an advisory team from Taiwan helped reduce the incidence of malaria from 50 per cent in 2003 to 1.01 per cent in 2015.

This fight against malaria has greatly contributed to a fall in the number of deaths among the infants and young children of Sao Tome and Principe, enabling them to grow up and lead healthy lives.

World health security must be a global partnership as well as an inclusive endeavour in order to be truly successful.

Francis Kuo-Hsin Liang


Taipei Representative Office in Singapore