PRETORIA — China and African countries held a ministerial conference in Pretoria on April 24 with the aim of stepping up China-Africa cooperation in health.
Vice-Premier Liu Yandong, Minister of National Health and Family Planning Commission Li Bin, and health ministers from 31 African countries attended the conference with the theme of “China-Africa Health Cooperation, From Commitments to Actions.”
Addressing the China-Africa Ministerial Conference on Health Cooperation, the vice-premier hailed China-Africa health cooperation as an epitome of the China-Africa community of shared future.
Liu said numerous moving stories of health cooperation have been recorded in the history of China-Africa friendly relations.
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Johannesburg listed public health cooperation as part of the 10 China-Africa cooperation plans, lifting China-Africa health cooperation to a new level, she noted.
Since then, China and Africa have worked together to follow through on the outcomes of the summit and made new progress in health cooperation, said Liu.
China hopes that the conference will boost efforts to further implement the outcomes of the FOCAC summit so as to usher in an even broader future for China-Africa cooperation in health, said Liu.
The vice-premier said China has been accelerating the building of its own health sector while actively participating in global health governance.
China stands ready to work with all other countries, international organizations and nongovernmental organizations to address global health challenges, and through South-South cooperation, to help build the health sector in developing countries, she said.
Enhanced China-Africa health cooperation will not only benefit the 2.4 billion Chinese and African peoples, but also help enhance the health and well-being of all mankind, she said.
She called for intensified efforts to improve the accessibility of Africa’s health services, strengthen the public health prevention and control system and capacity-building in Africa, scale up support for the health needs of the youth and women, deepen people-to-people exchanges in health and bring more benefits to the people through China-Africa health cooperation.
More than 200 participants, among them Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Executive Director Michel Sidibe, attended the conference, where World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan sent in a video message.
Representatives of various parties spoke highly of China’s achievements in the health sector as well as China’s support for African countries.
They also expressed hope for enhanced cooperation with China to help Africa realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by world leaders in 2015.
At the conference, China signed an agreement on maternal and child healthcare cooperation with Malawi, an agreement on hospital cooperation with the Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mauritania, Zambia, Niger and Chad, and an agreement on a free-cataract-surgery program with African countries including Sierra Leone.