Access to medicine
China also plans to help Africa improve the availability of health and diagnostic services and commodities, as well as improve Africa’s capacity for independent and sustainable development in the field of medical care and health, according to the Forum on China-africa Cooperation Johannesburg Action Plan announced last December.
Thanks to its advances in research and development and the capability of producing high-quality and lowcost medicines and vaccines, China can play a unique role in supporting African health development and make a positive impact in the developing world.
A good example is Humanwell Pharmaceutical Africa, part of Humanwell Healthcare Group, a Chinese leading healthcare solutions provider, which built the first modern medicine production plant in Mali in 2009 in collaboration with the China-africa Development Fund.
With the focus on developing products that address the large unmet healthcare needs in Mali and other Western African countries, it has provided low-cost medicines for the West African markets as well as created job opportunities locally.
The company has recruited more than 100 local staff and has also been working to share its knowledge and expertise with the local workforce, during which skills are transferred to benefit Mali’s economy in the future.
“This plant ends our history of no medicine production, and helps equip us with the medicine production capacity, so that we can produce medicines independently in the future,” said Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
China pledged to encourage 10 large Chinese pharmaceutical and medical equipment enterprises to cooperate with African counterparts at the Second Ministerial Forum of China-africa Health Development held in Cape Town, South Africa last October.
“China’s funding, skills, knowledge and products are not only critical to improve health conditions in African countries, but are also adaptable in evolving contexts and changing needs,” said Ted Chaiban, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund’s Director of Programs. Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org