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Ethiopia CDC Lab Highlights Sino-African Cooperation

Source: | 2023-11-20 16:08:31 | Author:

Chinese delegations attended and addressed the completion ceremony of a Chinese-funded disease control and prevention laboratory in Ethiopia on November 10.(PHOTO: XINHUA)

By LIN Yuchen

Chinese delegations attended and addressed the completion ceremony of a Chinese-funded disease control and prevention laboratory in Ethiopia on November 10, committing to enhancing their cooperation and advancing public health in Africa.

Such laboratory projects that are part of China-Africa’s cooperation framework are historic. According to Hu Biliang, professor of economics at Beijing Normal University, this is because the lack of complete infrastructure is a major constraint on Africa’s development.

“In 2012, the African Union adopted an infrastructure development plan, and China's infrastructure investment in Africa in recent years has been growing at an annual rate of over 10 percent,” said Hu.

First announced in 2018 as a flagship cooperation project between China and Africa, the construction of the laboratory only took 25 months to complete, which demonstrates the will and action of China and Africa to unite and help each other to overcome difficulties, said Hu Changchun, the head of China Mission to the African Union in the completion ceremony.

As the first laboratory with modern conditions and complete facilities on the African continent, it aims to further enhance Africa’s health prevention and control conditions.

According to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), currently there are less than five percent of African laboratories that possess fully developed and sustainable capacity for diagnosing the priority diseases within their countries and properly transporting specimens while ensuring international standards and regulatory requirements are met. The new laboratory aims to narrow the gap of laboratory systems in Africa.

Shen Hongbing, director of the China CDC, said the two CDCs would work together in areas such as diagnosis, responding to epidemic outbreaks, surveillance and early warning systems.

“The Africa CDC and China CDC are keen to enhance their collaboration in multiple areas, and the laboratory aligns with Africa CDC’s strategic priorities, enhancing its capacity to respond promptly and effectively to various public health threats,” said Africa CDC director general Dr Jean Kaseya.

The new laboratory is named Dr Wu Lien-teh Laboratory in memory of the epidemiologist Wu Lien-teh, who contributed significantly to China’s quarantine and epidemic prevention endeavours.

Editor: 林雨晨

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