An agreement on cooperation in public health and medical skills was signed on February 10, 2016, between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The objective of the agreement is to access technical support from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the area of public health and will include, but will not be limited to, health education, disease screening and clinical services. Another major aspect of this joint collaboration will be the capacity building of medical personnel in Belize.
The agreement will apply to projects initiated jointly by both parties. The first major project, Capacity Building Project for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Renal Failure, will address the ever increasing number of patients with end stage renal failure. Activities within this project will include training for nurses in the hemodialysis procedure in Belize, training for hemodialysis technicians and Community Health Workers, as well as the development and production of public education materials. The aim of the project is also to strengthen the screening program for high-risk persons for kidney disease.
The Ministry of Health, recognizing the urgent need to address non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as direct contributors to the development of chronic renal failure, developed the 2013-2023 Belize National Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases.
Statistical figures from 2014 reveal that diseases of the heart (13%) and diabetes (9.5%) rank within the top three (3) causes of mortality in Belize. One of the risk factors for these NCDs is obesity, therefore it is important to address this factor through the promotion of healthy life style practices.
The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Health, is very appreciative of the technical assistance offered by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and welcomes this initiative as an important tool in combating the increase of non-communicable diseases in Belize. The agreement was signed by the Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health and H.E. Benjamin T.H. Ho, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize.