GABORONE, May 6 (Xinhua) -- China has reiterated its commitment to help Africa improve its health sector amid various challenges faced by the African continent through deepening existing health cooperations.
In a letter delivered at the open of the 4th international Roundtable on China-Africa Health Cooperation on Monday, Ma Xiaowei, Vice Minister of National Health and Family Planning Commission of China, said China stands ready to share with Africa its health development experiences, and support Africa's health initiatives.
"We need to promote all-around health cooperation between China and Africa. We are willing to work with Africa to promote the China-Africa health cooperation under the framework of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and make it the highlight and priority of the overall China-Africa cooperation," said Ma.
Ma said China is ready to work with both African governments and private institutions while embracing all health stakeholders.
"We also hope to see that more Chinese medical institutions, research institutions, universities, and civil society focus on and enter into Africa and make greater contribution to China- Africa health cooperation."
In addition, Ma highlighted that China is willing to work with African countries closely on cooperation projects in WHO and other multilateral organizations so that the international health resources could be used in a just and balanced manner and that China and Africa could tackle the global health challenges together under new circumstances.
"We will actively explore the coordinated efforts with WHO, UNAIDS and other international organizations, and support new measures and initiatives for Africa's health development."
For his part, Botswana's health minister John Seakgosing said at the launch that since inception in 2009, the Roundtable on China-Africa health collaboration has set the tone for increased dialogue and cooperation between China and Africa.
"The roundtable on Africa-China health collaboration is yet another indication of China's unwavering support towards Africa," said Seakgosing.
He said that it is the first time that the Roundtable takes place in Africa. And also for the first time, the private sector, from China and Africa, will have the opportunity to network and build relations, and create opportunities for future collaboration.
"This is a welcome development. As we are all aware, the private sector plays a very important role," he said.
China and Africa have enjoyed a long history of cooperation in terms of health. Since China sent out its first medical team to Africa in 1963, China has exerted all means to assist Africa including building medical institutions, providing drugs and medical devices, organizing training sessions for Africa, and offering scholarships to assist Africa's health infrastructure building, capacity building and talent training.