The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is in full support of Taiwan’s bid to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an Observer in 2022.
We also call on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to endorse Taiwan’s regular participation in all WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities. It is time to put politics aside and prioritise people.
Taiwan has consistently shown itself to be a willing and able contributor in the pursuit of health solutions for all, particularly as the world battled the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only has Taiwan, for the fourth successive year, clinched the top spot on the global Numbeo’s Health Care Index, it was also ranked in eighth position in Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking.
This is in part due to the technological advances used by Taiwan in monitoring and controlling their domestic outbreaks. Taiwan’s smart technologies included apps, web-based tools, and other information technologies – all of which Taiwan would like to share with the rest of the world, so as to defeat this pandemic, and any that may follow.
In addition to this technical expertise, Taiwan has been recognised by the WHO’s Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) as having provided one of the first reports alerting the WHO to Covid-19. This is clear evidence of the efficacy of Taiwan’s disease surveillance system.
Further, since the outbreak of Covid-19, Taiwan has actively worked to strengthen its vaccine research and development capabilities, as well as an innovative technological platform for mRNA vaccines.
Considering all of this, it seems only logical – and in the best interests of the promotion of health for all global citizens – to include Taiwan in all WHO activities, including technical meetings to facilitate international anti-pandemic efforts and technical exchanges.
It is abundantly clear that communication is key in the fight against Covid-19, yet Taiwan is excluded from essential frameworks, such as the WHO Contact Point under the International Health Regulations (IHR) reporting mechanisms. This means valuable disease-related information is at times delayed, or worse, lost, due to lack of direct contact.
The IFP therefore reiterates its call for the WHO to invite Taiwan to the WHA as an Observer; to recognise and allow Taiwan to provide virus surveillance information under the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS); and to formalise and institutionalise Taiwan’s participation in, and contribution to the WHO, so that Taiwan may participate in and contribute to the global health network.
Covid-19 knows no borders. We must stand together as one world and one people to defeat this invisible enemy.
Hon. Narend Singh, MP
IFP Chief Whip in Parliament
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