A Chinese doctor is conducting a free clinic. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Many Senegalese people come for check up. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
In the past 54 years, China has dispatched 20,000 foreign aid medical personnel to 50 African countries and diagnosed nearly 210 million African patients. As a model of South-South cooperation, China-Africa health cooperation is a vital part of China-Africa cooperation and has written many moving chapters for China-Africa friendship.
"Patients have a sense of dependence on Chinese doctors"
The theme of the China-Africa Minister-level Health Cooperation Conference is “China-Africa Health Cooperation, from Commitment to Action”. The Ministers of Health from China and 31 African countries, as well as senior representatives of six international organizations such as WHO and UNAIDS, reviewed China-Africa cooperation in the field of health.
Representatives highly affirmed the achievements of China's medical and health development, appreciated and thanked China for providing assistance and support to African countries, and looked forward to further strengthening medical and health cooperation with China to help Africa achieve the 2030 sustainable development agenda.
During the meeting, China and Malawi signed a maternal and child health cooperation agreement and also signed cooperation agreements with Congo (Brazzaville), Ghana, Mauritania, Zambia, Niger and Chad and signed a free cataract surgery cooperation agreement with Sierra Leone.
At the press conference after the meeting, Li Bin, director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China, said that over the past year, China and Africa have jointly promoted the implementation of the summit results and made positive progress. First, we actively supported the establishment of the African CDC. Second, we created an "upgraded version" of health aid. Third, we promoted the feasibility of pharmaceutical products in Africa. Fourth, we provided training for more than 1,000 medical and health personnel in Africa.
In the past 54 years, China has sent 20,000 foreign aid medical team members to 50 African countries, and nearly 210 million people have been treated in Africa. The Chinese aid medical team not only actively prevented infectious diseases but also introduced high-tech medical technologies such as cardiac surgery, and tumor removal for them. The Chinese medical team trained a large number of medical personnel through various forms such as clinical teaching and academic lectures. The locals said that China has left us with a "medical team that will not leave."
"She named her child ‘China’”
At the end of last year, after learning that the Chinese medical team once again came to Zighinkor, hundreds of local people came to the hospital early. Chinese doctors were busy from morning till evening. When the last patient was received at night, Chinese medical team found that their clothes were soaked in sweat. A woman excitedly came with her child. And she said that when her child was younger, the Chinese doctor had saved her. So she named her child "China." There are countless such stories on the African continent.
In 2014, Ebola broke out in West Africa. More than 1,200 Chinese health care workers and public health experts traveled to West Africa to overcome difficulties with African people. In the hot summer, the "Chinese doctor" and the West African people have been fighting side by side. They not only won the victory of battle with Ebola, but also became each other’s closest friends.
Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Health, Francis Carter said," Chinese doctors are the best friends of the Liberian people. At the time of the Ebola outbreak, the Chinese government was the first country to lend a helping hand to Liberia. We are grateful for this." China has built an Ebola hemorrhagic fever treatment center for Liberia. The clinic has done a great job. I worked hard with my Chinese colleagues to overcome this difficult time. "Liberia’s President Sirleaf once expressed his gratitude to Chinese medical staff, saying “When you are poor, in a difficult situation, the people who can still be with you and help you. China is a true friend. Thank you so much!”
"The African people will never forget China”
Africa has become one of the fastest growing markets for Chinese pharmaceutical exports and has become the largest market for Chinese domestic preparations. From 2008 to 2015, the total import and export of Chinese and African pharmaceutical products increased from US$980 million to US$2.423 billion. The growth rate of Chinese medicine exports to Africa not only exceeds the growth rate of traditional developed countries, but also exceeds China's export growth to other emerging markets such as ASEAN, Mexico, and Russia.
The compound artemisinin is a kind of antimalarial drug from Chinese medicine. In the 1990s, China brought artemisinin to Africa, which has so far saved the lives of 40 million people. South African Health Minister Moto Aledi said at the meeting that the African government and people will never forget the outstanding years of contribution China has made to Africa in the field of health. African countries attach great importance to the close and friendly mutual benefit relationship with China because they share similar values and principles.