Taiwan, US ink health cooperation pact

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Taiwan and the U.S. Aug. 10 in Taipei City, spotlighting government efforts to expand cooperation with like-minded partners on global health issues.
Witnessed by Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung and Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the MOU was signed by Yang Jen-ni, chairperson of Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs, and Brent Christensen, director of American Institute in Taiwan.
Under the pact, the two sides will work together in such areas as chronic disease research; digital, environmental, and occupational health; global health security; improvement of health systems and public health laboratories; infectious disease prevention and control; maternal, infant and adolescent health; and opioid and tobacco control.
Collaboration will be carried out in the form of consultations, meetings, workshops and conferences; joint science and research projects; personnel exchange and training; bilateral visits; and the establishment of contact points for sharing best practices, according to the MOU.
The MOHW said the pact is built on more than 20 years of Taiwan-U.S. public health coordination in the fields of emerging infectious disease response and dengue vaccine research. The unprecedented agreement is expected to improve the health and well-being of people in Taiwan and the U.S. while strengthening partnership between the two sides on efforts to promote health security around the world, the ministry added.
Sharing the same sentiment, AIT Director Brent Christensen said during the signing ceremony that Taiwan is “a reliable partner and a force for good in the world.” He expressed appreciation for Taiwan’s friendship while describing the Taiwan-U.S. relationship as “real friends, real progress.”
Leading a U.S. delegation that arrived in Taiwan Aug. 9, Azar is the highest ranking U.S. Cabinet member to visit the county since 1979, as well as the first Cabinet official to make the trip in six years. (YCH-E)
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