TAIPEI, Taiwan - A training course jointly launched by Taiwan and the US to teach medical personnel in the Asia- Pacific region how to combat the Ebola virus yesterday kicked off in the southern city of Tainan.
In a ceremony held at a disease control and prevention facility in Tainan where the programme takes place, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Christopher Marut said the latest joint co-operation sees bilateral efforts enter an "exciting new phase."
"The United States and Taiwan share a distinguished history of co-operation in health, science, and other related fields, and during this past year we have found opportunities in times of crisis to bring our co-operation to a new level, for the benefit of the global community."
"Our work together in support of the international Ebola response effort is just such an example, and I am pleased to be here to see our co-operation enter this exciting new phase."
Citing Taiwan's efforts in the fight of Ebola, Marut said Taiwan had sent two medical experts to train with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and took steps to inform its citizens at home and overseas about the nature and risks of the Ebola threat not long after the historic outbreak in West Africa.
Last December, Taiwan donated US$1 million (S$1.4 million) to the US CDC Foundation to support its global Ebola response as well as 100,000 sets of personal protective equipment, or "PPEs," to Liberia, one of the countries hardest hit by Ebola.
Just last week, Taiwan again donated US$125,000 to the Pan-American Development Foundation. These funds will be used to purchase Clinical Care Kits to help ensure that Latin America will be able to respond effectively to any cases of Ebola, he added.
Saying that the training course is a step in the right direction, the AIT head applauded Taiwan's vision, leadership, and generosity in launching this programme.
"I also applaud the course participants and your home governments for demonstrating your commitment to protecting your nations' people, the people of the region, and the world, by taking time out of your schedules to come to Taiwan for this training."