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Medical cooperation experts to visit Sao Tome and Principe

TAIPEI -- A group of Taiwanese medical experts will be sent to Sao Tome and Principe to explore the possibility of helping the African country to construct a hospital, a foreign affairs official said.

The group of experts from Taipei Medical University, along with officials from the ministries of foreign affairs and health and welfare, will visit the diplomatic ally in the coming months, David Wang, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of West Asian and African Affairs, said at a regular news briefing last Thursday.

The goal of the visit is to find out how Taiwan can cooperate with the African ally in setting up a hospital there, Wang said.

During a visit to Sao Tome and Principe in January, President Ma Ying-jeou said proposed bilateral cooperation includes the construction of a hospital and a second state-run high school in Sao Tome.

The hospital idea was first broached by Sao Tome and Principe Prime Minister Gabriel Arcanjo Ferreirada Costa during a visit to Taiwan last year, Ma said.

The hospital construction would follow bilateral cooperation in the country's fight against malaria.

Thanks to malaria control and prevention programs carried out between 2003 and 2006 by Taiwanese expert Lien Jih-ching — nicknamed Dr. Mosquito — the malaria prevalence rate in the African country has dropped significantly.

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