Five medical personnel within the Ministry of Health have been selected to undergo training in Taiwan as part of a project that aims to combat metabolic chronic diseases.
The five seed instructors will receive six weeks of training at the Cathay General Hospital in Taiwan from September to November 2023.
An inauguration ceremony for the Training of Trainers was held at the Ministry of Health on Thursday, August 10, 2023, where the project outline and goals were shared with a cross-section of medical personnel.
Also present at the ceremony was a delegation from Cathay General Hospital who spent a week in Saint Lucia to gain first-hand knowledge of the extent of metabolic chronic diseases on the island.
His Excellency Peter Chia-yen Chen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, said the occasion marked another milestone in the journey towards a healthier and more sustainable future.
“Over the years, Taiwan and Saint Lucia have built a strong partnership in every dimension of sustainable development, and the public health sector is no exception,” Ambassador Chen stated. “The upcoming training would be beneficial to a better healthcare system in Saint Lucia. Meanwhile, it will also reinforce the partnership we share, and consolidate the cooperation we have made.”
Ambassador Chen thanked the implementing agency, Cathay General Hospital, and Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste, Minister for Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs, for making the project a reality.
Meanwhile, Hon. Jn. Baptiste thanked the Government and people of Taiwan their continued support for Saint Lucia in various areas, including in advancing public health strategies.
He told the selected participants that the training is the result of multiple levels of collaboration on both sides.
“We are hopeful that the trainers will become an integral part of the project, and that you will assist us when you return, to realize the benefits to our healthcare system and also to the Saint Lucian community at large,” said Hon. Jn. Baptiste. “We want to ensure that we improve health education at the community level. Although I know that for many of us the education on metabolic chronic diseases is ongoing, I want to encourage you to help all of us refocus our attention to the community organizations and community level mobilization which needs to be done.”
Project Manager, Mr. John Lin, of the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM), said the four-year project covered under the MoU aims to strengthen the capacity of preventing and controlling metabolic chronic diseases.
He said the project includes three important components, namely control, prevention, and creation of a new policy to tackle the problem.
“We understand that fighting diseases does not rely on an individual effort, but that there is need for collective effort,” Lin said. “That’s why we have people of diverse specialties going to Taiwan for this training.”
On March 2, 2023, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs in Saint Lucia and the Republic of China (Taiwan) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Capacity Building Project for the Prevention and Control of Metabolic Chronic Diseases.
The project forms part of a series of initiatives being implemented by the Ministry of Health in its decades-long battle against the spread of metabolic chronic diseases.
Under the control component of the project, 12 doctors, nurses, or dietitians/nutritionists will receive training in Taiwan ranging from one to three months, while 3 community level seed instructors will receive training for a similar period for the prevention component.