China is playing a bigger role in global health development
When tech guru and philanthropist Bill Gates speaks, people generally listen. His endorsement therefore of locating the new Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) in China is a vote of confidence for the country’s health sector. Citing the rich pool of talented scientists and its capacity to develop new drugs and vaccines, Gates said China was a clear choice for this important location. The move adds weight to the continuing progress China is making in contributing to global health development 45 years after the country resumed its legal seat at the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1972.
Gates made the announcement during his talk at Peking University on March 24, while on a visit to Beijing. The GHDDI was cofounded by Tsinghua University and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in Beijing.
“China isn’t just striving to reach new heights at home. It is using its own experience fighting poverty and disease to help other countries tackle similar challenges. Now, China is using its experience to help usher in a new tomorrow for Africa,” said Gates, Co-chair of BMGF.
As China is taking the lead in the manufacturing sector, it can help strengthen the pharmaceutical production capacity in African countries. This will help address medicine shortage in Africa and make essential medicines more accessible and affordable.