President Tsai Ing-wen met with Ntombi Tfwala, queen mother of Eswatini, and lunched with members of Taiwan’s technical mission and the medical team at Mbabane Government Hospital during the latter half of her four-day trip to the African ally, according to the Presidential Office.
Tsai’s discussions with the queen mother Sept. 7 focused on a Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) project to boost microfinancing for women in the kingdom. Growing numbers of rural women have benefited from training coordinated by Eswatini’s commerce ministry and TaiwanICDF on starting independent businesses.
The day before the royal meeting, Tsai toured Mbabane Government Hospital with Eswatini Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi and called the site a symbol of the enduring friendship between the two countries. Founded in the nation’s executive capital in 1920, the hospital underwent reconstruction with help from Taiwan and has played host to a contingent from Taipei Medical University Hospital for the last 14 years, the president said.
Tsai greeted members of the medical team, who have fruitfully used their time in Eswatini to engage in medical education and free clinics, in addition to contributing to public sanitation efforts, the president said. She thanked the doctors and other staff for their work to improve health care in Eswatini and said their work was a perfect example of the “Taiwan Can Help” spirit.
In response, Nkosi said that her country appreciated everything Taiwan has done for Eswatini’s public health. She also thanked Taiwan for its support during the pandemic and vowed her country’s continued support for Taiwan’s inclusion in WHO and other international organizations, saying that with the country’s broad experience in public sanitation and medicine, its exclusion from the institutions is unreasonable. (POC-E)
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