Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) Taiwan and the Philippines will join hands to curb the spread of dengue fever, a decision recently made by the health authorities of both sides, the Department of Health said Wednesday.
Besides working together to fight off the mosquito-borne disease, the two countries have also agreed to improve on non-communicable disease prevention programs, according to a press statement released by the department.
Dengue fever is common in Taiwan, the Philippines and other countries located in tropical and sub-tropical zones.
"Both parties will increase cooperation in this field because of the seriousness of dengue fever in the Philippines -- almost 800 people die each year," the department said, adding that "the Philippines list the top three countries that contribute to imported cases of dengue fever in Taiwan."
There were 1,702 reported cases of the disease in Taiwan in 2011, according to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control.
The decision to collaborate was made a day earlier in Manila by Taiwan's Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta and his Philippines counterpart, Enrique Ona.
During their meeting, the Philippines health authorities also expressed willingness to learn from Taiwan's experience in implementing national health insurance, stem-cell therapy, bone marrow transplant and build-operate-transfer (BOT) hospital projects, the statement said.
A delegation from the Philippines is expected to visit Taiwan in November to discuss future cooperation plans.
(By Nancy Liu)