SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

China holds meeting of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation health ministers

China held the first-ever meeting on Friday of the health ministers of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, an initiative to help increase international dialogue among high-level international health organizations on health concerns of Africa.

The President of China Xi Jinping thanked those in attendance, which included approximately 50 African ministers of health and high-level representatives of global health organizations, such as the GAVI Alliance. Jinping announced at the Forum that China launched its Beijing Declaration of the Ministerial Forum on China-Africa Health Development, an initiative to reach the people of Africa with life-saving health supplies to help the continent reach the Millennium Development Goals.

"China and African countries have enjoyed strong and effective partnerships on health for half a century, based on our common experiences and our shared vision for a brighter and healthier future for all our citizens," Health Minister for Senegal and a member of the GAVI Alliance Board Awa Coll-Seck said. "The Beijing Declaration solidifies our governments' commitments to developing and implementing Africa-led strategies that drive sustainable health progress and improve the lives of people across the continent."

Mercy Ahun, a special representative for countries that are eligible for GAVI Alliance assistance, spoke at the Forum also, stating that multilateral support is important in helping the African people in need and future collaboration with China will occur.

"[The Forum] is a good example of a new type of partnership: bilateral arrangements enhanced with and through multilateral support," Ahun said. "The GAVI Alliance looks forward to working closely with China and Africa on this ambitious endeavor and creating a world where life-saving immunization is available to those in need, regardless of where they are and their ability to pay."