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Foreign aid program to help Taiwan increase global visibility: DOH

Foreign aid program to help Taiwan increase global visibility: DOH

Taipei, Dec. 29 (CNA) The government (DOH) highlighted Monday a program to donate medical instruments and equipment to foreign countries, saying it is an effective medical diplomacy tool and demonstrates Taiwan's desire to give back to the global community.
“The medical aid program not only shows Taiwan's concern (for the world) but also helps increase Taiwan's visibility on the international stage, ”said Ministry of Foreign Affairs official Lin Cheng-hui at a press conference, referring to the Global Medical Instruments Support and Service Program (GMISS).
The GMISS is a foreign aid program supported by the Cabinet-level Department of Health (DOH) with the cooperation of National Taiwan University Hospital's Department of Biomedical Engineering that collects medical instruments and donates them to countries lacking medical resources.
The donated items include mammographic instruments, colonoscopes, kidney dialysis machines, anesthesia machines and ambulances.
An online database system exists to register locally donated medical instruments and foreign requests. The Web site is http://gmiss.doh.gov.tw.
According to the DOH, domestic hospitals, academic institutions and private enterprises have donated thousands of medical instruments since the GMISS program was launched in 2005.
Thanks to the platform and assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and groups that provide medical assistance abroad, 24 countries, including in Central and South America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, have benefited from the GMISS program, according to the DOH.
Some, such as Vietnam, the Philippines and China, are not diplomatic allies of Taiwan.
The DOH expects the GMISS program to link up with more international nongovernmental organizations to raise the efficiency and effectiveness of foreign medical aid.
Aside from the instruments themselves, the program also provides post-donation services to understand if the receiver countries need supplies of medical disposables or technical consultation and support.
(By Emmanuelle Tzeng)