Taiwan to send team to help Acheh and Phuket after Tsunami
The Department of Health (DOH) will send a 17-member team to the Thai island of Phuket Tuesday to help with epidemic-prevention work there over the next three months. The DOH noted that one week after lethal tsunami triggered by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake hit Phuket Dec. 26, the need for urgent medical care is no longer there but the specter of an epidemic outbreak is emerging. The team, comprised of epidemic prevention experts and medical personnel, will bring with them 1.5 tons of health and hygiene equipment and medicine, with the focus on public health. The DOH said that in the next three months, they will continue to send personnel to Phuket who will work there on a rotational basis. The DOH earlier sent a 13-member delegation to Banda Aceh, capital of Aceh Province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, which was worst-hit by the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami. Two members of the team will return to Taiwan Tuesday and the remaining 11 members will assess whether to return too or transfer to other areas hard-hit by the worst natural disaster in a century.