Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中政委), Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中部長), Vice Minister Leo Lee (李澄然次長), Amb. James Moriarty(莫健主席), Director Kin Moy (梅健華處長), Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentleman, good morning!
It gives me a great pleasure to attend today’s commencement ceremony.
On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all participants, especially those who traveled from afar.
In 2003, I was the Health Minister when the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) broke out in Taiwan. The most precious lesson we have learned from fighting this ferocious disease is that infectious diseases transcend national borders and global cooperation is imperative to ensure global public health safety. Therefore, after holding three successful workshops on dengue, MERS and Zika with the U.S. under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), we decided to continue to co-host this training workshop for countries in need.
Among the top global health issues, mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue kill as many as 750,000 people every year, making mosquito the deadliest pest on the planet. While dengue and chikungunya continue to threaten Asian countries, Zika virus, first appeared in Brazil in April 2015, also spread rapidly to countries in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Asia. In order to prevent mosquito-borne diseases from becoming another pandemic, all countries need to have the capabilities to rapidly diagnose and treat infected patients. This workshop offers the opportunity for 35 laboratory professionals from 18 countries, which covers from the Western Hemisphere to the East, and from Northern Hemisphere to the South, to share experiences and learn the latest technologies.
Under our Steadfast Diplomacy, aiming to make friends through a diplomatic model that emphasizes mutually beneficial and supportive relations, we have been actively sharing our experiences and helping with capacity building in fighting global infectious diseases. Taiwan, as a responsible stakeholder, will continue to promote international collaboration and partnership in disease prevention through relevant mechanisms and frameworks such as Taiwan-U.S. GCTF.
I believe this workshop can help you gain a better insight into the principles and practice of laboratory diagnosis for dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses. I also hope that you can share with your colleagues and friends how beautiful and great Taiwan is after returning to your respective country. Once again, welcome to Taiwan. I wish this workshop a great success and you all a pleasant stay here. Thank you.