Introspection, Counterplot, and Future Strategic Planning after Epidemics of Infectious Diseases - For the Celebration of the 21st Anniversary of the Epidemiology Bulletin
2006 Vol.22 NO.5
The Epidemiology Bulletin in Taiwan has been in publication for 21 years. During this time, Taiwan’s Department of Health has been in cooperation with the USA’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and through this association and improvements in our educational systems, we have cultivated professionals capable of meeting the challenges of epidemics of infectious disease. Of equal importance have been the experiences we have had with our own outbreaks of several infectious diseases. Successful or not, our sense of responsibility has been increased, our skills at investigating the pathogens and mechanisms behind epidemics have been honed, our sense of responsibility and dedication to disease prevention has been upgraded professionally, and we now are more capable to provide an array of adequate public health services both domestically and internationally. On the other hand, since Taiwan’s withdrawal from the United Nations in 1972, we have not been able to participate in any public health related technical conferences or training workshops held by the World Health Organization (WHO), and have, therefore, forced to rely on our own professionals to meet the challenges of unexpected epidemics and make the necessary timely changes needed to respond to protect the health of our people. Much has occurred in twenty years; thus, twenty years is not an insignificant period of time for a responsible journal to contribute to the protection and betterment of the public health of our society. The Epidemiology Bulletin, founded at the same time Taiwan’s public health system began its transformation, has in addition to guiding health professionals on disease prevention and control, has kept the public, policy makers, and the professionals in our health care system well informed on what is happening internationally with regard to disease prevention and control. Hence, in its first 20 years, the Epidemiology Bulletin has provided insights into the epidemiologic characteristics of Taiwan’s infectious diseases, has lead the ways to the establishment of different infectious disease surveillance systems, has shown how new diagnostic technologies can help in the timely detection of disease outbreak, and has often thoughtfully discussed on how to plan and implement better public health policies based on epidemiologic results and statistical analysis. With this twenty-year accumulation of experience and a strong desire to protect the health of all people, we are now more than ever prepared and excited about our role in the effective prevention and control of infectious diseases in the future.