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China to help Africa strengthen post-Ebola health system

Updated: Mar 28,2015 5:37 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will help Africa with its public health system post-Ebola, said a Chinese official on March 27 at a China-Africa health roundtable.

Lin Songtian, director of the Foreign Ministry’s African Affairs Department, made the remarks at the three-day Fifth International Roundtable on China-Africa Health Collaboration held in Beijing, which ended on March 28.

Lin said China was studying the support it could offer Africa, adding China will help the African Union build a disease prevention and control center, which would link epidemic surveillance facilities in each member countries.

In terms of capacity building, Lin suggested that more scholarships could be granted to African health professionals and students for them to study in China, as well more training offered to Chinese health aid workers dispatched to the African continent.

A policy recommendation on China-Africa health cooperation was put forward at the roundtable, which included suggestions such as the two sides should boost cooperation in medicine and vaccine production, diagnostics, health financing instruments, and enhanced dialogues and knowledge exchange.

Ren Minghui, director of the department of international cooperation of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said China had a unique role to play in supporting African health development as it was capable of producing high-quality and low-cost medicines and vaccines.

China was among the first to deliver Ebola emergency aid to the region. Medical professionals, lab technicians and public health specialists soon followed.