By Liu Poen Pan Jiun-heng 劉伯恩，潘俊亨
According to media reports, in the hot zone of the Israeli-Hamas war, where hospitals have been bombed and medical resources are nearly depleted, pregnant women have undergone caesarean sections without anesthesia.
As former residents in obstetrics and gynecology, when we read this news, we could envision pregnant women crying out in pain. How many people have had to undergo horrible surgeries without anesthesia due to a lack of medical supplies? It is hard to imagine how a surgeon would have the courage to operate on a patient while they are screaming.
Love and passion have long been core values that Taiwanese are proud of. Even amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, a group of local medical personnel organized themselves into a task force and traveled to Ukraine to provide humanitarian aid. As a result, the slogan “Taiwan Can Help” has become famous around the world, with countries praising Taiwan, regardless of whether Taipei has diplomatic relations with them.
To increase international recognition and expand visibility on the world stage, Taiwan has been investing many tangible and intangible resources. Today, on the other side of the globe, tens of thousands of women, children and seriously ill people are in need of help. With Taiwan’s capacity in medical resources, the nation is capable of providing labor to help with acute cases and high-risk pregnancy emergencies.
Therefore, in the role of humanitarian aid, and in compliance with regulations and without affecting the medical capacity for Taiwan, the nation can offer a convenient “green channel” to international rescue organizations, allowing patients in need of emergency aid in the Ukrainian-Russian or Israeli-Hamas wars to come to Taiwan to receive medical treatment.
This year marks the 151st anniversary of the visit of George Mackay — the first Presbyterian missionary to Taiwan. In the past, foreign missionaries came to Taiwan from far away to help the people of this land. While enjoying the fruitful results today, we should help those in the international community who are struggling in pain with the passion that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” By doing so, the slogan “Taiwan Can Help” could be heard throughout the world.
Liu Poen is chairman of the Taiwan Association of Long-term Care Medicine. Pan Jiun-heng is an obstetrician and gynecologist.
Translated by Eddy Chang
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