TAIPEI (CNA) — The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement Tuesday in response to a crowdfunded ad that Taiwan is isolated from the world health body.
The statement issued by WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic listed 13 ways in which the WHO and Taiwan have interacted over the years. Here is the full text of the statement:
WHO has maintained regular technical exchanges with Taiwanese health authorities over several decades.
Below are examples of how Taiwanese health experts and authorities interact with WHO in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic (points 1 through 8) as well as examples of regular interactions that have taken place over many years and across many different global health concerns (points 9 through 13).
1. Taiwan has an established International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) Point of Contact that receives IHR communications, provides IHR information updates directly to WHO Headquarters, and has access to the IHR Event Information Site (EIS) system. While noting that Taiwan’s COVID-19 caseload is low relative to its population, WHO continues to follow developments closely. (The EIS system is a password-protected database and information exchange platform supporting the IHR. It is the main platform for all IHR communications, back and forth, between WHO and IHR contacts.)
2. Taiwanese health experts participate in two of the key WHO networks set up in January 2020 to support WHO work in the global COVID-19 response. Three experts are part of the WHO Infection Prevention and Control Network; two are part of the WHO Clinical Network. Every week, they join some 60 to 80 other experts from around the globe through a WHO-hosted teleconference, working to advance our knowledge and guidance in this response.
3. Two Taiwanese experts participated in the Global Research and Innovation Forum organized by WHO on 11-12 February 2020. They took part, alongside other world scientists, in considering critical research questions and in finding ways to work together to advance the response.
4. Taiwan’s Field Epidemiology Training Program is a member of the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (also known as “TEPHINET”). WHO shares Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network alerts and requests for assistance with TEPHINET, and those messages are cascaded to the TEPHINET members.
5. WHO, through its technical lead, has directly briefed Taiwanese health authorities and has repeated that offer.
6. Taiwanese experts and authorities have open access to developments, guidance and other materials through the WHO’s website (www.who.int) and other digital platforms. They can also access the www.OpenWHO.orgplatform, which hosts open online courses for decision-makers and responders around the world.
7. WHO has a designated contact point with Taiwan’s office in Geneva. Through this channel, general questions are handled and when technical concerns arise, WHO technical responses are coordinated.
8. WHO interacts with Taiwanese health authorities through the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
9. Over the course of 2019, Taiwanese experts were invited to attend 9 WHO technical meetings. They attended 8 of these meetings, contributing to WHO expert processes on issues including immunization, drug-resistant TB, assistive technologies, vaccine safety and SDG targets on NCDs and Mental Health. Work is underway for more Taiwanese experts to participate in 2020.
10. On influenza, a Taiwanese vaccine manufacturer, Adimmune, contributes to the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIP Framework) and preparations are underway for concluding an agreement between WHO and Adimmune under the PIP Framework for pandemic influenza vaccine products;
11. In the fight against cancer, Taiwanese experts have contributed to key publications issued by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer;
12. In support of the International Health Regulations, a Taiwanese expert has been appointed to the IHR Expert Roster; and
13. On a range of other issues, from WHO pre-qualification practices for pharmaceutical manufacturers to malaria, we have exchanges on a variety of practical and technical issues.