The ministers in charge of health affairs in China and African countries on Tuesday stressed the importance of establishing a resilient public health system in Africa, especially the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention, both in the African Union as well as in individual countries.
The officials met in Cape Town for the 2nd Ministerial Forum of China-Africa Health Development.
Under the theme “Promoting the access of healthcare service in Africa: Improving China-Africa’s Cooperation in Public Health in post-Ebola era,” China and African countries agreed to strengthen collaboration on universal health coverage and reiterated their commitment to the cause.
Based on lessons learnt from the Ebola outbreak and the global response, both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in public health via the construction of a resilient public health system, and enhance collaboration on cross-board health issues.
Forum officials said they welcome international partners, including international organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic bodies to participate in and contribute to the establishment of African public health system.
China pledged that it would continue to provide scholarships and training courses to African public health professionals, both in China and in African countries, while African countries will support the recruitment process and ensure that qualified candidates are identified and trained.
Under an action plan worked out at the forum, China will continue to provide support to the public health facilities it has built in Africa to ensure their sustainability and modernization, while the host countries will provide the necessary support and policies to ensure the smooth operation of these facilities.
Chinese officials attending the forum confirmed that China is committed to establishing 100 health facilities, including hospitals and clinics, in the developing countries.
The Chinese side will also continue to send medical teams to work in Africa and recruit 1,500 medical personnel in the next three years, officials said.
China is willing to provide assistance and support in the establishment of the disease control and prevention systems at the regional and country level to reinforce the surveillance, monitoring and response capacity of African countries to public health emergencies, said Li Bin, director of China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission.
Representatives from African countries voiced their willingness to provide the necessary support and enabling measures, including policy, planning and implementation, to facilitate the establishment.
The action plan encourages establishing cooperation mechanisms between medical institutions to form a hospital-to-hospital or institution-to-institution relationship, so as to promote exchanging experts, training courses, as well as technology exchange and transfer.
China will support 20 Chinese tertiary hospitals to work with their counterparts in Africa to strengthen the capacity of clinic specialists in Africa.
Both sides recognize the important role of traditional medicine in people’s health care and will continue information exchanges in this regard.
Officials from both sides said China and Africa are willing to share their experiences in regulating traditional medicine. China added that it is willing to support the training and the establishment of Traditional Medicine Clinics in African countries, upon the demand of African countries.
As part of the action plan, the Chinese side pledged to encourage 10 large Chinese pharmaceutical and medical equipment enterprises to cooperate with their African counterparts through measures such as technology transfer in the production, maintenance and distribution of quality pharmaceutical products and medical equipment in African countries.