China-Africa Ties: China's efforts to medicine in Africa
China's focus on sharing covers not only Asia, but also the global environment. China is determined to assist the African continent with its public health systems. Beijing has committed 80 million dollars for the Africa Centers for Disease Control, tasked with timely responses to health emergencies. Coletta Wanjohi reports from Addis Ababa.
At the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, health experts monitor the situation reports from different regions within Africa. It's a major component of the Africa Centre for Disease control that was launched by the African Union in 2017. The main aim is to support all African countries to improve surveillance, emergency response, and prevention of infectious diseases.
DR. JOHN NKENGASONG, DIRECTOR AFRICA CENTRES FOR DISEASE CONTROL "We have staff over 65 staff available not just at the headquarters but at the some of the regional centres including Zambia and Kenya. And our hope is that by the end of the year the other centers in Nigeria , Egypt and Gabon will also go operations."
The outbreak of the Ebola virus, in West Africa in 2016 was seen by the continent as a wake up call to reinforce its public health systems to combat future threats. And China has now stepped in with additional cash to keep the centre funded.
DR. JOHN NKENGASONG, DIRECTOR AFRICA CENTRES FOR DISEASE CONTROL "I was just in China in January with the chairperson of the AU and some commissioner to continue the dialogue on how China can work with us and they are committing up to 80 million dollars for the construction of Africa CDC and other regional Centres, that is key."
China is also offering its expertise and is securing its influence on the African continent.
EBBA KALONDO, SPOKESPERSON CHAIR OF THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION "Partnership with China and the African continent is historically important and becomes more important as the South – South partnership frameworks become more important within the new global contexts."
COLETTA WANJOHI ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA "A team from the China Centre for Disease Control recently visited the health experts at the AU commission in Addis Ababa , to discuss how China can be of further assistance to ensure the establishment of a fully fledged emergency response mechanism within the continent.
For now, the Africa CDC is tapping from existing medical expertise within the continent. It wants to introduce scholarships for medical personnel within the universities in Africa, to sharpen their skills and strengthen the continent's much needed public health response system. Coletta Wanjohi, CGTN, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.