2008 year Press Release You Are Here:Home> News Room >2008 year Press Release
  • Since TaiwanIHA’s inception in March 2006, it has upheld the goal of integrating the resources of the public and private sectors in international medical and health assistance so as to provide better international emergency medical and humanitarian assistance. Over the last two years, TaiwanIHA has set foot in many countries around the globe to aid in a variety of natural disasters, including Indonesia’s earthquake, Kenya’s flooding, the Solomon Islands’ tsunami, Peru’s earthquake and Ecuador’s flooding. TaiwanIHA and our government are clearly dedicated to providing humanitarian care and giving back to the international community. As March 2008 marked TaiwanIHA’s second birthday, on March 27 the Foreign Service Institute hosted the Photo Exhibition of International Medical Assistance on the Second Anniversary of TaiwanIHA. The event featured video and audio clips of the activities and missions completed by TaiwanIHA over the past two years. In addition, a ceremony was held to present TaiwanIHA uniforms and certificates of participation to the medical team volunteers. After the opening ceremony, TaiwanIHA held the seminar Embracing the World—Sustainable Development of Humanitarian Assistance from a Global Perspective to discuss the key to shaping international medical assistance projects. During the seminar, experts and researchers from Japan’s International Medical Service Alliance, Education Development Center, International Cooperation Development Fund, Tzu Chi Foundation, Taiwan International Medical Alliance, World Vision and Dharma Drum Mountain shared their experiences in international medical and health cooperation and long-term public health projects. Nearly 100 of Taiwan’s medical personnel and experts from humanitarian aid organizations and social welfare groups participated. <img src="97/970624/77.jpg" class="float_l" border="0" width="250" height="166" /><img src="97/970624/11.jpg" class="float_l" style="margin-left:5px;" border="0" width="250" height="166" /> <div class="cleaner"></div>
  • Various NGOs and the NGO Affairs Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were invited to participate in the 2008 Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) on April 8-10, 2008. They were led by Executive Director Yang Che-ming of TaiwanIHA (Taiwan International Health Action) and included the Tzu Chi Foundation, Red Cross Society of the Republic of China, Field Relief Agency of Taiwan and Compassion International Taiwan. DIHAD is the largest international humanitarian aid event in the world. Its goal is to provide groups engaged in international humanitarian assistance and development with a platform for exchange. Over the years, it has become one of the most important events for international humanitarian assistance organizations. First held in 2004, the Exhibition has entered its fifth year, with more than 300 international assistance organizations and concerned enterprises participating. The United Nations and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the major sponsors of the event. UN specialized agencies, such as the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and leaders of other major international assistance organizations also attend this event. The theme for DIHAD 2008 was Humanitarian Challenges of the Future. Organizers invited UN Deputy Secretary General John Holmes, who is in charge of the UN’s humanitarian affairs, and other distinguished guests to address the audience. The exhibition hosted over 60 booths and attracted more than 500 participants. Topics for discussion included traditional humanitarian assistance and disease prevention, testing and control from the perspectives of academic and business communities. This visit allowed TaiwanIHA to demonstrate its efforts in international humanitarian assistance. In addition, in order to promote exchange between Taiwan’s humanitarian assistance groups and those of other countries, the Tzu Chi Foundation, Red Cross Society of the Republic of China, Field Relief Agency of Taiwan and Compassion International Taiwan were invited to attend this event. The oldest of them, Tzu Chi Foundation, was established 42 years ago. Over the years, more than one million people have been assisted by it. With members from the business community increasingly partaking in international humanitarian assistance, remarkable achievements have been seen. As a result, Mr. Ho Jih-sheng was invited to speak on the topic “Today’s hot spots, tomorrow’s crises and the role of prevention and preparedness.” The exhibition also displayed portable dentist facilities created by the Foundation. Since its inception two years ago, TaiwanIHA has sent nine teams overseas to such countries as Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Peru and Ecuador to provide emergency humanitarian assistance. Its success has encouraged Taiwan’s youth to volunteer for such activities as well. In the future, it will continue to urge NGOs at home and abroad to increase Taiwan’s foreign aid resource to make contributions to international health assistance. <img src="97/970621/1s.jpg" class="float_l" border="0" width="226" height="170"/><img src="97/970621/2s.jpg" class="float_l" style="margin-left:5px;" border="0" width="226" height="170" /> <div class="cleaner"></div>
  • Tropical storm Nargis hit Burma on May 3, 2008, injuring countless victims and killing numerous others. TaiwanIHA, Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society and International Headquarters S.A.R. flew to the affected areas to provide medical assistance on May 23. The TaiwanIHA medical team was comprised of M.D. Chang Yi-jia from the Surgery Department of Taoyuan General Hospital under the Ministry of Health and Welfare; M.D. Chen Ru-hsin from the Center for Disease Controls Department of Epidemic Prevention; M.D. Chuang Jia-chang from National Cheng Kung University Hospitals Emergency Department, Supervisor Shu Pei-jin of Taipei Hospitals Department of Nursing, R.N. Yu Shen-ping of Keelung Hospital and R.N. Chiou Zi-shan of TaiwanIHA, masters of Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society and members of the International Headquarters S.A.R. Taiwan arrived in Yangon early morning on May 23. TaiwanIHA focused its efforts on the Kung Yan Gan area of Yangon district. With the assistance of local monks and masters of Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society, the medical team safely reached the villages in need of assistance. Local residents told the team that people and livestock stranded on two sand bars near the estuary were swept away by the storm. The air where medical members stayed was stifling and reeked of decaying bodies. Members did their best in such conditions to treat patients with help of interpreters. As news spread of the teams arrival, the number of residents seeking aid increased. The main medical conditions encountered by the team were external injuries, upper respiratory tract infections, intestinal infections and post-traumatic stress disorders. Despite limited medical supplies and poor working conditions, M.D. Chang still was able to conduct minor surgery on a patients foot. After any flood, skin aliments are the second most common problems encountered after dysentery and related diseases. In addition to the refugees, dozens of young Buddhist novices sought medical care from TaiwanIHA to treat fungus infections. The TaiwanIHA medical team returned to Taiwan on June 1, after helping 1500 people in 16 villages of the Yangon, Kung Yan Gan and Ayeyarwaddy districts of Burma over a period of 10 days. By the time the team departed, the villages had started reconstruction. Since the houses were built simply with palm leaves and bamboo, reconstruction progressed faster than expected. Due to large number of casualties, what local residents needed most was to finish burying the dead and obtain mental health care. During the visit, each team member did their utmost to treat the patients with medication and provide health education and mental health assistance. Masters of Ling Jiou Mountain were responsible for communicating and coordinating with local masters. With their help, medical members were more easily able to enter the affected areas. In addition, International Headquarters S.A.R. Taiwan was in charge of the teams safety and the equipments transportation. Everyone worked hand in hand for the refugees sake, thereby showing their desire to cooperate and concern. During the visit, each team member did their utmost to treat the patients with medication and provide health education and mental health assistance. Masters of Ling Jiou Mountain were responsible for communicating and coordinating with local masters. With their help, medical members were more easily able to enter the affected areas. In addition, International Headquarters S.A.R. Taiwan was in charge of the teams safety and the equipments transportation. Everyone worked hand in hand for the refugees sake, thereby showing their desire to cooperate and concern. TaiwanIHA successfully integrated the resources and strengths of the public and private sectors, allowing them to operate more effectively than by working individually. In the future, TaiwanIHA will continue to work with Taiwans NGOs and those abroad and to coordinate medical and health assistance resources to provide emergency humanitarian assistance. It will further demonstrate Taiwans compassion and desire to give back to the international community.
  • A 7.9-magnitude quake and hundreds of aftershocks rocked Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008, causing severe casualties. The goal of TaiwanIHA has always been to integrate the international medical assistance efforts and resources of both the public and private sectors. In this case, TaiwanIHA asked municipal hospitals for donations, which amounted to 700 kilograms of medical and sanitation materials, including IV sets, Povidone-iodine, bandages, gauze and cotton swabs. These items, along with the relief materials gathered by the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China, were sent to the disaster areas on May 16, thereby demonstrating our compassion and determination to contribute to the international community. <img src="97/970622/33.jpg" border="0" height="199" width="149" />
  • Ecuador was hit by severe flooding due to heavy rains over the past few months, with coastal areas taking the brunt of the damage. A total of 13 provinces were affected, with the flooding causing 23 deaths and 3.5 million refugees. It has been estimated that at least 300,000 families were forced to relocate and over US$1 billion of losses were amassed. This has been Ecuador's most severe flood in the last ten years. To make matters worse, the hospitals of many villages and townships were destroyed by flooding. Water facilities and power plants were also seriously damaged, which hampered and even stopped the operations of many remaining medical care institutions. After receiving a cable from our representative office in Ecuador, Taiwans Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health and Welfare immediately urged TaiwanIHA to take action. As a result, a five-member medical team comprised of staff from Taipei Hospital, Tsaotun Psychiatric Center and Center for Disease Control was sent to Ecuador at midnight on March 8, 2008. The team included an expert on infectious diseases, a psychiatrist and an expert on disease prevention. A nurse and a person in charge of international coordination were also asked to join the team. Antibiotics and other types of medication were sent with them as well. According to Ecuadors weather bureau, the flooding continued through April. During this time, much key infrastructure was destroyed, resulting in great risks to public health and the environment. In addition, refugees were displaced and left homeless. Due to the sudden changes, they were in shock and greatly needed counseling to feel more assured and rebuild their homes. In consideration of this, TaiwanIHA sent a psychiatrist in addition to the experts in infectious diseases and disease prevention. The team members also worked with other international organizations and health agencies that provide humanitarian assistance so as to help in the prevention and spread of communicable diseases, such as dengue fever and dysentery. <img src="97/970620/1s.jpg" class="float_l" border="0" height="173" width="232" /><img src="97/970620/2s.jpg" class="float_l" style="margin-left:5px;" border="0" height="173" width="232" /> <div class="cleaner"></div>
  • TaiwanIHA hopes to encourage college students to become more involved in international health initiatives, thereby helping them broaden their perspectives of the world. It therefore has held seminars and recruitment fairs to attract young volunteers at National Taiwan University, National Yang Ming University, Taipei Medical University and Fu Jen Catholic University in February and March 2008. Students who devote themselves to international medical assistance enjoy opportunities to learn about different cultures. TaiwanIHA hopes to lay a solid platform through which Taiwan’s youths can engage in international health affairs and to add impetus to humanitarian assistance efforts. Volunteer service training was co-hosted by TaiwanIHA and Taipei Community and Volunteer Service Promotion Center for the fourth time this year. It took place in the auditorium on the 15th floor of the Ministry of Health and Welfare on May 17-18, 2008. The event aimed at boosting volunteer service in public welfare programs in addition to the volunteer training it provided. Such activities are also to cultivate an atmosphere of volunteer service and let volunteers exchange their experiences. TaiwanIHA volunteers share their experiences with one another through these events. They also assist in registering participants, serving food and beverages and cleaning the venues. The passion and activeness exhibited by TaiwanIHA’s young volunteers have been highly recognized by other volunteer institutions. <img src="97/970619/1s.jpg" border="0" height="195" width="480" />
  • <img style="width: 221px; height: 40px;" alt="" src="97/970418/mark3.gif" /> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 85px; height: 50px;" alt="" src="97/970418/mark1.gif" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <img style="width: 320px; height: 316px;" alt="" src="97/970418/mark2.gif" /></p> Attachment List: <a href="97/970418/970418.pdf?phpMyAdmin=76fdad3a3575c739be524d86055f0eac&phpMyAdmin=76fdad3a3575c739be524d86055f0eac" target="_dynamic">970418</a>
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