Big­ger role in global health

ChinAfrica - - China Report -

Gate’s com­ments on China’s con­tri­bu­tion to the world health de­vel­op­ment was echoed by Dr. Bern­hard Schwartlän­der, WHO’S Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in China, who be­lieves that China’s health re­forms can serve as a good ex­am­ple for other de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Schwartlän­der praised China’s di­rect con­tri­bu­tion to global health, high­light­ing its re­mark­able decades-long med­i­cal as­sis­tance to Africa. He noted that more than 23,000 Chi­nese med­i­cal staff have worked in 66 coun­tries and re­gions around the world and have treated an es­ti­mated 270 mil­lion pa­tients since the coun­try sent its first med­i­cal team to Africa in 1963.

China has been tak­ing the lead in help­ing the WHO, with a re­cent ex­am­ple be­ing its as­sis­tance in fight­ing Ebola. It was among the first to de­liver emer­gency sup­port to Ebola-hit coun­tries, with more than 1,200 health pro­fes­sion­als dis­patched to West Africa, he said.

“China will be part of a larger net­work of emer­gency med­i­cal teams that the WHO can call upon in case of global emer­gen­cies. They can be quickly dis­patched and help our ef­forts to over­come a cri­sis,” he added.

In re­cent years, this co­op­er­a­tion has been ex­tended to dis­ease pre­ven­tion and con­trol pro­grams, such as malaria con­trol. Gates pointed out that one area China has an in­cred­i­ble chance to lead in is in re­duc­ing and even­tu­ally erad­i­cat­ing malaria.

“To achieve the goal of global erad­i­ca­tion, we need to build on Pro­fes­sor Tu Youyou’s dis­cov­ery of artemisinin and de­velop more pow­er­ful tools - like a sin­gle-dose cure and bet­ter ways to block trans­mis­sion of malaria from mos­qui­tos to hu­mans,” he said. Tu won the 2015 No­bel Prize for Phys­i­ol­ogy or Medicine for her ef­forts in dis­cov­er­ing artemisinin, a drug that has sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced the mor­tal­ity rates for pa­tients suf­fer­ing from malaria.

Like many other coun­tries, China suf­fered greatly from malaria decades ago. But the in­fec­tions re­duced greatly. Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning

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