Gates Foundation: China will provide example of global cooperation and development in health

To the extent that China is moving towards its aim to eradicate poverty in the country by 2020, it is assuming a global role which is more and more important in matters such as energy, climate and health, and world development, stated Mark Suzman, director of strategy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Since 2007, the foundation has been supporting China in overcoming internal challenges on health and development, and has focussed on questions such as HIV, tuberculosis, the control of tobacco, and the fight against extreme poverty, stated Suzman to Xinhua, in an interview given this week.

“In order to support the efforts to eradicate poverty in China, we are working with Chinese partners to trial innovative actions in infant nutrition, primary health care, and financial services for the poor”, added Suzman.

China has a notable record in having reduced the cases of malaria from millions to zero within its borders in the last 60 years, “China is also the main source of the science which makes control possible”, he pointed out, and he mentioned the Chinese scientist Tu Youyou, who won a Nobel Prize for the discovery of artemisinin, the standard treatment for malaria throughout the world. China is also among the main global providers of mosquito nets treated with insecticide, which have prevented over 500 million cases of malaria in little more than a decade.

The foundation is working with partners such as the Ministry for Commerce and the National Health Commission, in order to supply high-quality low cost products against malaria, manufactured in China, in order to encourage the country to help to narrow the global gap in financing in this area, and apply the experience of China in response and vigilance systems for illness to local communities with a high incidence of malaria in Africa.

China could also lead the world in other areas. Its pharmaceutical experience inspired the foundation to help to create the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute, in association with the municipal government of Beijing and Tsinghua University, to develop new medicines designed for illnesses such as tuberculosis, which disproportionately affects those living in countries with a low income.

“All these interesting achievements have strengthened the potential of China as a positive catalyst for development throughout the world”, stated Suzman.

The next Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC), in Beijing will serve to strengthen collaboration, and China will take advantage if its capacity to move forward on the most urgent challenges faced by Africa.

China also serves as one of the best examples of economic growth boosted by agricultural transformation, and in this area it can also help to transform Africa.

Since 2016, the Gates Foundation has been working with the Ministry for Commerce and the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Affairs in order to support the Demonstration Centres for Agricultural Technology set up by China in Mozambique and Zambia.

“Our aim is to pilot a model in which the experience of China in the improvement of crops, mechanisation, and the extension of technology, can be applied to local conditions, and generate changes in the systems within the various African contexts”, stated Suzman.

To the extent that the Gates Foundation is entering the second decade of its association with China, it is seeking to continue supporting the country by taking full advantage of its potential to create a better shared future for all.

“I am anxious for the summit to be an example for the future of cooperation for development, as China aims to become an even stronger leader in this area”, declared Suzman.

Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office

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