Making contributions to Malaria Prevention in diplomatic allies of Africa: Associate Professor Kun-Hsien Tsai’s Team receives Grand Medal of Diplomacy and Friend of Foreign Service
On Nov 1, 2016, Dr. Ri-Qing Lian, Adjunct Professor of Institute of Environmental Health, CPH, NTU and Associate Professor Kun-Hsien Tsai, representing Malaria Control Project Team of Embassy of Taiwan in São Tomé and Príncipe, received the “Medal of Diplomacy” and “Friend of Foreign Affairs Medal” granted by Minister David Ta-wei Lee. The medals are to express and acknowledge the outstanding contribution Dr. Lian and the Malaria Control Project Team have made to the international medical aids of Taiwan. Many faculty members and students of NTU CPH also attended the ceremony to celebrate the honor.
Dr. Lian has been devoting to mosquito and dengue prevention research for a long period of time. Since 2000, Dr Lian has already gone to Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe for 10 times to assist with its malaria prevention work. In the lead of Dr. Lian and with the support from Malaria Control Project Team, the incidence rate of Malaria in São Tomé and Príncipe dropped substantially from 50% in 2003 to 4% in 2012. WHO announced in 2013 that malaria in Príncipe Island is in the stage of pre-elimination of malaria. Under the effort of Associate Professor Kun-Hsien Tsai and other fellows in Malaria Control Project Team, the incidence rate of malaria decreased to 1.01% in 2015. Since 2014, there has been no malaria death across the entire country.
Focusing on the topic of Vector-borne Infectious Diseases, Associate Professor Kun-Hsien Tsai has devoted to malaria prevention work in Africa for many years. After accepting the mission assigned by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has been to São Tomé and Príncipe for 12 times. Over this period of time, Associate Professor and Dr. Lian collaborated for 3 times in advising 6 summer interns from Department of Public Health, CPH and 1 intern from Institute of Environmental Health.
While receiving the medal, Associate Professor Tsai expressed gratitude to officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs for acknowledging and supporting their Malaria Control Project Team. “This award is the biggest recognition that Dr. Lian’s Malaria Control Project Team has received. On behalf of all the team members, I would like to express our deepest appreciation to Dr. Lian. Not only does he dedicates selflessly, but also passes on his precious experience in malaria prevention by leading the younger generation to stand in the frontline work”, Associate Professor Tsai said at the ceremony.
At the same time, Associate Professor Tsai thanked the frontline workers, including Ms. L.F Tseng, who is currently working as the project coordinator of Malaria Control Project Team at São Tomé. Other members include Mr. C.F Cheng, Mr. Wei Liu and former members, Mr. Yu-wen Chen, Mr. Zong-you Chen and Mr. Jun-hao Chen. All team members sacrificed their time with family and devoted to the project at São Tomé.
On behalf of the team, Associate Professor Tsai also expressed appreciation to the local communities in São Tomé. Their involvement enabled the Malaria Control Project Team to accelerate its objective of eliminating malaria. Last but not least, he thanked all officials from the Embassy of Taiwan in São Tomé and Príncipe for guiding and supporting them, contributing to the smooth progress of Malaria Prevention Project.
Until today, College of Public Health, NTU has already had 5 alumni who went to São Tomé and Príncipe for alternative military service. Of which, 2 alumni stayed there as long-term workers. Over the past couple years, 6 interns from Department of Public Health and 1 intern from Institute of Environmental Health also joined the frontline malaria prevention tasks at São Tomé and Príncipe. In the future, professors and students will continue to be active about engaging in practical projects as such, exerting the spirit of public health, which not only focuses on the control of infections diseases, but also on preventive medicine and health promotion.
On the day of the ceremony, the attendees included officials and fellows from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. António Quintas (São Tomé and Príncipe Ambassador), and Professors and students of NTU CPH. Given that NTU CPH has been actively promoting global health and continues to encourage professors and students to be involved in public health tasks or practicums abroad, Professor Wei J. Chen (Dean of CPH), the three Associate Deans of CPH (Professor Chang-Chuan Chan, Professor Yaw-Huei Hwang, Professor Ming-Chin Yang), Professor Shi-Wei Tsai (Institute of Environmental Health), Ms. Cheng-Lan Su (Secretary of NTU CPH), and many students and alumni all attended the event to celebrate this honor. The ceremony ended successfully at the assembly hall of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed by an enthusiastic and interactive cocktail party among the attendees and award recipients.
Photo 1: Associate Professor Kun-Hsien Tsai delivers his award acceptance speech and shares the process of malaria prevention.
Photo 2: Members of Malaria Control Project Team at São Tomé and Príncipe and interns from NTU CPH.
Photo 3: The R.O.C Malaria Control Project Team which professors and students in NTU CPH have been involved in, receives Friend of Foreign Service Medal
Photo 4: The administrative members of NTU CPH attended the ceremony to congratulate and celebrate the honor. From Left: Ms. Cheng-Lan Su, Professor Ming-Chin Yang, Professor Shi-Wei Tsai, Associate Professor Kun-Hsien Tsai, Professor Wei J.Chen, Professor Yaw-Huei Hwang
Photo 5: Mr. António Quintas (São Tomé and Príncipe Ambassador) thanked and congratulated Dr. Ri-Qing Lian and Associate Professor Kun-Hsien Tsai.
Photo 6: during the award ceremony held in the assembly hall of Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Photo 7: Associate Professor Kun-Hsien Tsai and his students participating in the award ceremony and cocktail party