Taiwan International Health Action (TaiwanIHA) was founded with the desire of fulfilling the expectations of the international community and Taiwans medical care industry to play a greater role in international medical care. The Executive Yuan approved TaiwanIHA on 6 February 2006 and the organization was officially established on March 30. Its inception forms a mechanism for planning and overseeing Taiwans international medical care and healthcare partnerships and emergency humanitarian medical aide work.
TaiwanIHA is an organization comprised of Taiwans governmental and private circles established to propel Taiwan into the international arena and create a new image for Taiwan. This organization receives support and cooperation from the Department of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, over 20,000 medical care professionals in Taiwan, over 500 private medical care organizations, dozens of medical and healthcare research bodies and think tanks, and hundreds of medical and healthcare professional organizations, NGOs and private industries. These participants join forces in a concerted effort to carry out short, mid and long-term international medical and healthcare activities and projects in response to both emergency and non-emergency situations. It is hoped that through these endeavors Taiwan can become a model and champion of international medical and healthcare, and lead the way in providing international medical and healthcare services in the future to become an important partner working together with international medical and healthcare organizations.
TaiwanIHA will form partnerships with important international humanitarian medical and healthcare organizations. Prior partnership activities have included cooperation with the International College of Surgeons in Africa to provide professional workshops on surgery, provision of a public health assessment of the South Pacific tsunami catastrophe to the International Center for Migration and Health, and implementation of the bird flu prevention assessment and educational training project. TaiwanIHA has also cooperated with Health Diplomats, a major international think tank, to jointly sponsor the International Forum on Building World Hygiene and Safety in March 2006. TaiwanIHA has already begun cooperating with other international organizations working on international public health plans, and is also assisting Taiwans medical care professionals into positions where they can provide greater contributions on the international stage.
TaiwanIHA will actively establish joint cooperative partnership models among private organizations and the Taiwan government. The government will provide the necessary resources and the private organizations will be responsible for taking the initiative to reach out and get involved in international medical and healthcare work. Leaders of the local medical care and health industries will serve as TaiwanIHAs special consultants and participate in all facets of major policy decision-making and planning. Local medical and healthcare professionals from the medical community, nursing, dentistry, medical examination, and public health sectors can all become members in working towards achieving TaiwanIHAs initiatives. In addition, over 500 public and private hospitals with over 10,000 medical professionals can become TaiwanIHA members.
On 1 December 2005, a emergency relief TaiwanIHA Advisory Team for Cholera Control Assistance in Sao Tome and Principe helped Sao Tome quickly bring the cholera epidemic under control and devised methods to improve water sanitation conditions. On 18 February 2006, TaiwanIHA provided immediate emergency humanitarian medical relief in response to the Philippines mudslide disaster. On April 7, TaiwanIHA dispatched members to Burkina Faso to assist with bird flu outbreak follow-up emergency measures and provide educational consultation on epidemic prevention and control. Also, on April 10~12, local private professional organizations specializing in international aide participated in the Dubai International Humanitarian Aide and Development Conference and Exhibition.
TaiwanIHA is striving to become Taiwans overseas medical care humanitarian aide platform. Thus, our goal is to vigorously encourage local public and private medical care organizations and humanitarian medical aide NGOs to become international specialized medical care relief workers. TaiwanIHA recruits enthusiastic professionals who are involved in medical treatment facilities, colleges of medicine, colleges of public health, and professional associations. The organization also receives support from international health organizations encouraging and assisting local medical treatment and healthcare specialists to participate in international humanitarian aide organizations training. TaiwanIHA will also access the assistance of international health organizations to help encourage local professionals participation in international humanitarian aide and relief activities. Their participation will help Taiwan become an important participant of the international society working hard to protect human health and safety.
TaiwanIHA has already begun cooperating with key specialized international professional organizations to carry out educational consultation about bird flu prevention. In the future, this educational material will be provided in many different languages to reach out to countries around the world. In addition to being placed on TaiwanIHAs website, plans have also been made to produce videos of this educational material so that the information can reach more people. Free printed educational literature will also be provided to those in need. TaiwanIHA is also in the process of joining together local contagious disease specialists to establish a bird flu control international consulting technical team, which will be able to provide any necessary technical support.