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China, Africa To See A Stronger Collaboration On Health Moving Forward

In a CNN opinion piece, Lucy Chen, executive deputy director of the Institute for Global Health at Peking University in Beijing, examines the underlying reasons for China and Africa collaboration on health. Noting the 4th annual International Roundtable on China-Africa Health Cooperation in Gaborone, Botswana, this week, which “tackled such topics as malaria, AIDS, reproductive health, and schistosomiasis — health issues that China has largely brought under control but remain major health challenges in Africa,” she writes, “To be sure, there is a long history of China and Africa collaboration on health.” She adds, “Going forward, we all foresee a stronger collaboration,” as “[m]any African countries could benefit from low-cost, high-quality Chinese-made health products.”

“The relationship between China and Africa has of course been long and complex, and not without misunderstandings,” Chen continues, noting “tensions that have on occasion emerged due to different styles of management and communication.” She writes, “This is why these face-to-face meetings are so valuable. They pave the way for our long walk together,” adding, “Of course, we still have far to walk before all people with AIDS, malaria and TB receive the treatments and dignity they deserve; before all children are immunized; before all women have access to safe and effective contraception; and before neglected tropical diseases are eradicated forever.” She concludes, “But, I am encouraged that we are walking together, and in the right direction” (5/9).