TMU College of Public Health participate in activities held in remote villages with international students

Source: College of Public Health

Published on 2022-11-09

The Master Program in Global Health and Development of College of Public Health held the Tribe Natural Walking Workshop in Hsinchu County’s Jianshih Township Atayal indigenous community leading by Dr. Yih-Ren Lin and Dr. Tuo-Yu Chen.

The workshop enabled students to gain an understanding of the medical, cultural, and agricultural aspects of Atayal Indigenous and to observe primary health care in this local indigenous community. In addition to understanding how COVID-19 affects primary health care, the workshop also serves the purpose of an international exchange of ideas.

Jianshih’s indigenous community has a unique demographic structure and scarce medical resources due to its geographical constraints. After visiting the elderly health center, students learned that most of the local elders who develop health conditions have to rely on doctors stationed in other indigenous communities, and in case of emergencies, there may be delays in seeking medical treatment owing to long travel times. The local health center not only offers medical assistance, but also plays an important social support role by acting as a venue for local elders to interact with each other while having daily meals.

Left: Foreign students pay a visit to a local health center
Right: Foreign students experience the history of Taiwan’s Indigenous agricultural development and millet farming

The development of local agriculture involves the connection between generations of indigenous families. Millet was a common agricultural product among Taiwan’s Indigenous tribes, but the number of farmers growing millet has gradually declined with the passage of time. Recently, the revival of millet farming, promoted by the younger generation, has led to a connection between the younger and older generations. At the same time, this sharing brings up the link of tribal heritage and even stimulates the psychological and physical health of local elders.

TMU international students took part in the Tribe Natural Walking Workshop to learn about local primary health care, and cultural and agricultural aspects of the Atayal. With the revival of millet farming as well as the primary health care to be improved, the workshop was held in the hopes that this experience will serve as a reference for foreign students in the development of primary health care in their home countries.

Y.R. Lin (back row, 2nd from right), T.Y. Chen (front row, 1st from left) and foreign students from the College of Public Health posing for pictures in the Indigenous Community of Jianshih Township, Hsinchu County