This 3.5-year long-term project, cooperating with Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), was officially launched in February 10th, 2016. Through educational promotion, we want to strengthen capacity in professional care, public health and chronic disease prevention in order to lessen the health-related burden in Belize. At FEMH, we have trained Belizean doctors and nurses as seed instructors, who host educational sessions of chronic disease prevention in Belize after they completed the training. This is the Taiwan’s FIRST public health medical aid project in Central America and Caribbean area.
In order to understand the health condition in Belize, FEMH and ICDF have send public health experts to do on-the-spot investigation since 2013, with the great help from the Embassy of the Republic of China. In 2015, FEMH sent a team of ophthalmologist, otolaryngologist and nephrologist to provide medical help in Belize and to restore the sight for needy Belizeans. In addition, FEMH NICU medical team was invited to assist in clinical training when a new neonatal intensive care unit opened at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
President Lin, Fang-Yue and Ms. Wang, Hung-tzu, the Director of Humanitarian Assistance Department, hosted the project launching ceremony in May, 2016. President Lin donated 100 dialyzers to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital, symbolizing the future improvement of dialytic care in Belize.
In June 2016, 4 Belizean doctors and nurse received 2 months clinical training at FEMH. After completed the seed instructor training, they went back to Belize and trained more local health workers and local public health promoters. Dr. Shu, Kai-Hsiang, the nephrologist, and Ms. Chiang, Ju-Fen, the vice head nurse, provided continuous clinical training for seed instructors and monitored educational sessions in Belize.
In Aug 2016, Dr. Peng, Yu-Sen, the Chief of Internal Medicine Department, and Dr. Hu, Hui-Han, the epidemiologist, helped develop the method of community screening in Belize. A large-scale field study was initiated in 2017.
In Oct 2016, Dr. Tseng, Po-Yu, the nephrologist, continued the clinical training in Belize. In addition, Dr. Tseng was invited by Belizean Ministry of Health to give keynote speeches at the Annual Medical and Dental Congress. It has greatly raised awareness for kidney disease prevention in Belize and also incredibly promoted the project.
In March 2017, 3 Belizean doctors and nurse received 2 months clinical training at FEMH, and successfully became the seed instructors. During March to September, Dr. Hsu, Shih-Ping (Chief of Nephrology Department), Dr. Tsai, Wan-Chuan (Nephrologist), Dr. Pan, Szu-Yu (Nephrologist) and Ms. Kuo, Hsiu-Hua (Vice head nurse) provided continuous clinical training for seed instructors at local hospitals in Belize.
In March 2018, 2 Belizean hemodialysis nurses received 2 months clinical CKD care training at FEMH, and successfully became the seed instructors. On April, 1 information technology engineer was trained for strengthening IT system and establishing case management system. On November, 2 FEMH IT engineers continued the BHIS training and set up system in Belize.
During the project, FEMH was awarded the Taiwan Global Healthcare Association’s『3rd International Medical Model Award』and Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s『Friend of Foreign Service Medal』, but also invited to World Health Assembly (WHA) Off-site meeting to share the experiences of CKD clinical care in Taiwan.
In January 2019, Dr. Chiu, Yen-Ling (Nephrologist) was invited by Ministry of Health Belize to attend「Taiwan-Belize kidney disease symposium」. On March, 1 Belizean nutritionist received 2 months CKD nutrition training at FEMH. On May, FEMH President’s assistant Ms. Huang, I-Yi and the Chief of Internal Medicine Department Dr. Peng, Yu-Sen were also invited by Ministry of Health Belize to evaluate the service situation of four dialysis centers in Belize.
When the project closed in August 2019, we have totally trained 11 Belizean seeded instructors at FEMH, executed 21 on-site supports and 3 volunteer medical consultations in Belize to strengthen chronic kidney disease care capacity and accumulate 35,283 people to receive CKD health education and prevention capacity. The result of first Belizean epidemiological survey combined with case management tracking system successfully influenced the formulation of local health policies. As result, local government and medical teams have the ability to take over the implementation of CKD prevention project by their own and establish the「dialysis nursing education system」and make the「Hemodialysis Standard and Guideline」to standardize the medical process and enhance the service quantity and quality sustainably.