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Belizean nurses express support for Taiwan’s Participation in World Health Assembly

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Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2021. 2:18 pm CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

First and foremost we are very thankful for being a part of this eighteen months Operating Room Nurse training at Chi Mei Medical Centre, one of Taiwan’s most prestigious health institutions. Embarking in this nursing specialty has been a wonderful and great learning experience as it has equipped us with vast knowledge on the highly technological advancement used in surgeries. Chi Mei Medical Centre offers its population minimally invasive surgical procedures such as laparoscopic, hybrid and the Da Vinci robotic assisted surgeries through the use of highly advanced equipment. Our training consisted of rotations through different sub specialties namely Neurosurgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Orthopedic, General surgery, Plastic surgery, Ophthalmology, ENT (Ear, nose throat) and ambulatory surgery. Our job entailed care for patients before, during and after surgeries. It encompassed comprehensive knowledge on surgical instruments, and equipment used inside the operating suites. In addition, we were exposed to different conventional sterilization methods utilized for surgical instrumentation as well as the role and responsibilities of other members of the surgical team. Overall we consider this training experience to be highly valuable and enlightening as it contributes to the development and growth of the Operating Room Nurse profession   in our country Belize.

Training in Taiwan during Covid-19 outbreak did not deter us from our focal learning but enabled us to form part of the country’s proactive health measures in combating the world wide pandemic. As current health care trainees at Chi Mei Medical Center, we managed to have first-hand experience of Taiwan’s overall healthcare system’s functionality. The healthcare personnel were deemed as essential in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, Chi Mei Medical Center procured for its staff safety by developing an app (C-Medline), in which mandatory recording of temperature checks as well as other symptoms were logged in daily. The use of this app facilitated tracking of potential positive COVID-19 cases. Continuous education and conferences were offered to medical staff. Hence, we had the opportunity to partake in numerous virtual conferences where innovations and applications for pandemic control were discussed. On March 30th 2020, Chi Mei Medical Center hosted a video conference among healthcare professionals from Belize, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Saint Kitts & Nevis where vital information of the Taiwan Model of care was shared. Taiwan shared their expertise on the effective measures utilized, empowering the different chief executives with the knowledge needed to control the pandemic. Taiwan continues to work closely along with Belize to overcome the immense challenges posed by this pandemic. Subsequently, on April 17, 2020, there was a virtual video Conference broadcasted live on a local show in Belize. Chi Mei Medical Center and its multidisciplinary team (the project deputy superintendent, secretary of medical affairs, and directors of nursing, attending physician for Intensive Care Unit and Center of infection control shared health care interventions that may be used to minimize COVID 19 spread. The Vice Director of nursing shared the different strategies used to create a safe environment at home and at work during a pandemic. In the last virtual conference conducted namely, “The International Hospital Leadership Forum: Crisis and Opportunities during COVID-19 Era”, medical experts from Taiwan and other neighboring countries such as Japan, Singapore, Korea and also the USA shared their response system and methods used in the containment of the COVID-19 virus. Common course of actions taken and discussed by medical experts during this forum were: modification of infrastructures for isolation rooms in the wards and operating room, strict standards of practice for disinfection and the development of application systems.

As a direct result of the effective measures, the livelihood in Taiwan continued the same without major disruptions in the activities of daily living. The measures implemented throughout the country targeted all aspects of movement and interaction. Thermal temperature scanning was mandatory upon every possible point of entry in buildings and transportation terminals. For locals and foreigners entering the country, confidential facilities with accommodations for mandatory quarantine are made available. After fourteen days mandatory quarantine, self-monitoring at home is to continue under scrutinized surveillance to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols. Hand sanitization and proper use of medical facemask is a must in public and open spaces. Failure to comply led to refusal of entry and warranted a fine as stipulated by the law. The number of customers at different restaurants and businesses was limited despite financial loss and inconvenience caused to the clientele. Business owners adhered to the new policies as mandated thus significantly contributing to the control of the COVID-19 outbreak.  In order to compensate for such inconveniences caused, customers were encouraged to do early reservations. Sitting and standing points were designated and properly marked respecting the three feet rule accordingly. These measures have also required an increase in human resources. Middle aged people were hired and seen constantly cleaning the elevators, rails and train’s seats as soon as people departed. Security guards were stationed at the various transportation entries to ensure compliance with the regulations.

 Artificial intelligence is used as a means of surveillance and data gathering. Through the use of artificial intelligence, unnecessary person to person interaction was prevented. In the healthcare facilities the introduction of tele-visiting accommodated patients for access to medication refills, follow up and non-emergent consultations. Furthermore, healthcare personnel have access to more in-depth information via their health online applications within their health institution. Taiwan integrated its electronic health records with immigration data to facilitate information sharing through the Medicloud in order to control the pandemic. Through Medi-Cloud, the healthcare provider can have real time access to  patients information pertaining to border entry and exit  data. Uploaded information by the immigration agency constitutes travel footprints, occupations, contacts and clusters. Healthcare providers are instantaneously notified on patients travel history, high risk occupation, contact history, and real time clustering in mass gathering.

Updated demographics gathered from the Taiwan Center for Disease Control on COVID- 19 is shared publicly within Taiwan through the daily press conferences held. It is also disseminated internationally via various media networks with the sole purpose of providing reliable information. Vaccines have been made available and administered accordingly to the groups of prioritization.  The government also made face masks easily accessible to all public and foreigners as a way to ensure adherence and cooperation. All in all, these measures were conducive in making Taiwan’s healthcare system exemplary and impermeable. Despite the adversities and challenges created by this pandemic, Taiwan has been one of the few countries to have successfully contained the COVID- 19 outbreak. Its success enabled them to provide continuous worldwide assistance through “Taiwan can help “initiative by donating millions of medical masks, medical devices and personal protective equipment.  With this said, we strongly support Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly as an independent member of state. 

Yours Truly,

Belizean Nurses

Enelie Alfaro

Lusbei Can

Elvita Choco

Sheila Dominguez

Viviane Villas

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