China to supply 5 million free malaria kits to Africa

May 08, 2016

The latest WHO estimates released in December 2015 show that there were 214 million cases of malaria in 2015 and 438,000 malaria deaths.

China will over the next three years supply five million artemisinin-based Malaria kits to African countries as part of the Asian country's new partnership with the continent in the sphere of health.

Feng Yong, the deputy director general (international cooperation) at China's National Health and Family Planning Commission made the disclosure in an interview with journalists in Beijing.

According to the World Health Organisation, Sub-Saharan Africa bears the highest share of the global malaria burden. In 2015, the region was home to 88% of malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths.

The latest WHO estimates released in December 2015 show that there were 214 million cases of malaria in 2015 and 438,000 malaria deaths.

Between 2000 and 2015, however, malaria incidence among populations at risk fell by 37% globally; during the same period, malaria mortality rates among populations at risk decreased by 60%.

About 6.2 million malaria deaths have been averted since 2001. Between 2000 and 2015, the under-5 malaria death rate fell by 65% globally, translating into about 5.9 million child lives saved.

Besides the offer of free drugs at a low cost, Yong said the China would support Africa to boost production of drugs through pharmaceutical cooperation between Chinese and local firms.

The supply of free malaria kit is part of a pledge made by Chinese President, Xi Jinping to African leaders in December to support the continent's development across several fields including health.

New commitment

Under the new partnership, China will help build 100 hospitals and clinics, train 120,000 medics in China and offer 150,000 scholarships over the next 5 years, Yong revealed.

China will also support the establishment of 100 maternal-child health projects, train 30,000 in women in China and offer 100,000 vocational and technical training to female students.

At least 20 Chinese and African hospitals will be linked through a twinning project and China will train for doctors, nurses, public health workers and administrative personnel for African countries.

Under the new health partnership, China will support the building of an African Union Disease Control Centre and regional medical research centres, and reinforce laboratory and diagnostic capabilities.

Every year, China and Africa will host roundtable forums for knowledge and experience sharing. In 2015, 350 scholars and officials from China and Africa met and initiated 16 joint research projects.

Since 1963, China has sent medical teams to African countries, including about 1,200 health professionals dispatched to work in different medical fields.

In 2014, China was one of the first countries to send medical teams to Liberia and Sierra Leone, the epicenter of the world's worst Ebola outbreak that killed over 10,000 people.


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