Former US Health Secretary in Taipei, calls for Taiwan's participation in WHO

Tom Price, ex-Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services under Trump in Taiwan for health workshop

Group photo from workshop on fighting Tuberculosis, Tom Price (center)

Group photo from workshop on fighting Tuberculosis, Tom Price (center) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Today in Taipei, a joint health conference hosted by Taiwan, the United States, and Japan took place, with leaders calling for Taiwan’s increased participation in World Health Organization (WHO) activities.

In attendance at the workshop aimed at combating Tuberculosis, was former U.S. Health Secretary under the Trump administration, Tom Price, who advocated for Taiwan’s inclusion as a “country” in the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.

"The world cannot succeed in improving the health of all unless all are able to participate in their strategic development for solutions and their implementation," said Price, as reported by CNA.

Price spoke at the “International Workshop on the Programmatic Management of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis” on Tuesday, which is part of the Taiwan-U.S. Global Cooperation Training Framework (GCTF) established to promote ties between the two nations.

Price emphasized that Taiwan is both strategically located, and has cultivated a high level of professional and technical skill in areas of medical treatment and disease prevention, making it an important player in maintaining the health and well-being of people throughout the Indo-Pacific.

The workshop invited 15 professionals from eight countries to share their research and experience in fighting the spread of tuberculosis, reports Liberty Times.

The former director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who is in Taiwan until May 3, served in the Trump Administration from February to September 2017. At Tuesday's workshop, he recognized that Taiwan’s exclusion at the WHO runs directly counter to the organization’s constitution which purports to protect health as a fundamental right of every human being.

The Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Brent Christensen, also spoke at Tuesday’s workshop, and noted that Taiwan’s work to combat tuberculosis is a clear example that the rest of the world can reference, and is clear evidence of Taiwan’s contribution to global health.

Taiwan’s Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) and Minister of Health and Welfare, Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), also spoke at the forum and declared that Taiwan is ready and willing to assist in regional and global health initiatives.