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MOHW Runs Street Folk Caring and Reporting Campaign in Cold Snap

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2014-12-16
  • Last Updated:2017-01-11

MOHW Runs Street Folk Caring and Reporting Campaign in Cold Snap 

In response to the drop in temperature this winter, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued a series of special low temperature reports; the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) subsequently activated the low-temperature caring campaign on December 4, 2014. On account of the sudden temperature drop and the prolonged chilly days in this cold snap, the MOHW further corresponded with all county and city governments on December 15, requesting their coordination with civic social welfare groups to enhance their visits to street folks. For those who are willing to be settled, arrangements should be made to settle them in receiving institutions or temporary cold shelters; for those who do not want to be settled, priority should be made to enhance visitation and caring, and the distribution of clothes, sleeping bags and hot food, in order to help them escape from the cold. Statistics shows that until December 15, 2014, there are in total 376 units of hot food and meal boxes, 471 units of warming items, and 162 units of temporary shelter provided to street folks. 

The MOHW said that to enhance caring measures for street folks during low temperature seasons, it has formulated a Special Program of Enhancing Care for Vulnerable Populations During Low Temperature and Holiday Seasons. If a low temperature report of below 10 degrees is issued, the caring campaign will be activated; local governments will then coordinate with civic groups to motivate private resources, volunteers, social workers and police forces to enhance caring services to street folks and vulnerable populations, including telephone greeting, giving relevant information about keeping warm and cold prevention, setting up distribution centres for hot food, clothes, and sleeping bags to prevent coldness, providing washing facilities and temporary shelters, and so on. There are currently ten public shelters for street folks around the country. In addition, counties (cities) that have not set up exclusive shelters have either designated appropriate social welfare organizations or coordinated with civic social welfare groups to provide settlements, with 104 stations in total. 

MOHW Minister Chiang Been-Huang urged community public to implement a spirit of neighborhood watch and assist reporting to the social bureaus of county and city governments, or call the MOHW benefit hotline 1957, whenever they find street folks, particularly those who are elderly or weak, so that government and civic resources can be involved to provide help as soon as possible. In addition, senior citizens and patients of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, stroke and hypertension, shall pay extra attention to their health, making sure that they take medicine and visit their doctors regularly, and more importantly, that they check blood pressure regularly. Seniors in the families should also be aware of measures to keep warm, especially for the head and limbs. In addition to enough warm clothes, hats and scarves are required to keep out of the wind and chill.