Dr. Ahun says China and African countries share a vision for the future

Previously published as: Sino-Africa walk into a healthy future

Mercy_AhunChina’s partnership with Africa draws on the lessons it has learned from improving the health of its own citizens

In a previous life when I was a National Immunisation Programme Manager in Ghana, I saw firsthand the challenges that many African states face in delivering healthcare. (photo Dr. Mercy Ahun – credit :http://www.independent.co.ug/column/opinion/8142-sino-africa-walk-into-a-healthy-future)

While attending the Ministerial Forum on China-Africa Health Development, representing the GAVI Alliance, I was struck by the common legacy that China and countries across Africa share in overcoming such obstacles, and the important gains that have been made.

China and African countries also share a vision for the future: one where all citizens have a chance to lead healthy and productive lives. Our governments understand the African proverb that if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.

To forge the path ahead, dozens of health ministers from across Africa – including Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda from Uganda– and high-level Chinese government officials met at the Ministerial Forum on China-Africa Health Development in Beijing, China.

Along with representatives of international organisations including the United Nations, they explored ways to strengthen their partnership towards greater health gains across the continent.

Ministers at the Forum also signed the Beijing Declaration of the Ministerial Forum on China-Africa Health Development, which sets a vision for a continued partnership to address a number of pressing health issues that affect Uganda and other African countries disproportionately. Among these are HIV, malaria, schistosomiasis, reproductive health, immunisation and vaccine-preventable diseases.

The declaration also highlights efforts to address the shortage of healthcare workers and increase joint research efforts. Moving forward, China-African cooperation will aim to align with African countries’ priorities as well as national and regional development plans.

These new actions at the Forum build on the long-standing health partnership between China and African countries, which began when China first sent medical teams to the continent 50 years ago. Since then, China has worked with countries to establish hospitals, clinics and malaria control centers in many African countries as well as sharing technical expertise to help address health issues.  Read full article here .

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