Yao Wei-jen (second right), superintendent of Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, emphasizes that the hospital’s overseas medical assistance is delivered according to the needs of the people in the host countries.
Lee Pai-po, TaiwanICDF deputy secretary general, notes that Taiwan’s medical assistance programs have shifted focus from sending teams of medical volunteers to provide treatment, to “capacity building” intended to improve public health delivery. This type of medical aid is also in line with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and allows Taiwan to contribute to global health initiatives. Taiwan moreover is well known for its expertise in both public health and information technology, and can help recipients of its aid programs by developing medical technology and by training personnel. As a result, when the medical missions wrap up their work, local health professionals can take over the training initiatives.
Reducing infant mortality
This kind of “teach a man to fish” philosophy is also evident in Taiwan’s approach to its aid to Eswatini. Beginning in 2016 TaiwanICDF partnered with clinicians at Chia-Yi Christian Hospital (CYCH) to work to reduce maternal and infant mortality half way around the world in southern Africa.