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52 years and counting: China’s medical aid missions to Africa

In April of 1963, China sent a medical team to Algeria. The mission marked the beginning of China’s medical assistance programs in Africa.

To date Chinese medical workers have reached more than 270 million people in 42 African countries in need of medical aid. Of the total 24, 300 medical personnel dispatched to the continent, 51 have committed their lives to their work in Africa.

In a recent People’s Daily article, Cheng Feng, a public health professor from Tsinghua University and chairman of China’s Alliance for South-South Health Cooperation Research, pledged that China would continue to send medical teams to African countries.

Chen wrote that in consideration of Africa’s long-term development, China and African countries will strengthen their cooperative efforts in the fight against major infectious diseases and in building an emergency public health system.

Over the past 52 years, Chinese medical workers have been highly praised by local governments and people for their hard work.

In addition, China has also helped build much needed medical facilities in Africa, such as hospitals, biological laboratories and tropical pathogens research centers, as well as providing medicine, equipment and free clinics.

After the outbreak of Ebola in early 2014, China sent four rounds of emergency assistance to three West African countries totaling $119 million, including medical workers and experts to treat people and train local medical personnel.

In the future, cooperation in health care between China and Africa will broaden in scope, such as the construction of disease control and prevention centers, more training for local public health workers to realize universal health coverage on the African Continent. (Source: People’s Daily)

 

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