China is play­ing a big­ger role in global health de­vel­op­ment

ChinAfrica - - China Report - By Liu Jian

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.

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