Bigger role in global health
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