Nauru boy named 'Taiwan' a tribute to medical missions abroad

The head of the Taichung Veterans General Hospital, has shared a story about a Nauru woman who chose to name her baby "Taiwan" after the baby was saved by a Taiwanese doctor who treated him for newborn complications.

The incident happened six or seven years ago, according to Hsu Hui-heng, when a medical mission from the hospital was in Nauru, one of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the central Pacific.

The doctor was delivering the baby of a Nauru woman when the newborn boy presented with neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, a severe condition that can result in death.

The Taiwanese doctor was able to treat the boy and save him, which is why the grateful mother chose to name the boy "Taiwan."

Hsu Hui-heng was one of the nine recipients of the Friends of Foreign Service Medal Award

The incident was just one of the many examples of the work that many of Taiwan's hospitals and doctors do abroad, which is why nine local hospitals received an award from Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Friday.

The other eight recipients announced last month were Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, the Taipei Medical University-Shuang Ho Hospital, MacKay Memorial Hospital, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Changhua Christian Hospital, Cathay General Hospital, and Taiwan Adventist Hospital.

These hospitals have sent missions to Palau, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and other developing countries with local health care needs.

Wu said they are the best proof that Taiwan can help with "Health for All," the World Health Organization's goal to provide health care for everyone, which is why Taiwan, he said, should be a part of the international organization and its World Health Assembly. (By Elaine Hou and Kuan-lin Liu)