Jean Kaseya (2nd L), the director-general of the Africa CDC, and Hu Changchun (2nd R), head of the Chinese mission to the AU, unveil a China-aided reference laboratory of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Nov. 10, 2023. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

Director-General of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Jean Kaseya has hailed Africa-China cooperation in public health.

ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) — Director-General of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Jean Kaseya has hailed Africa-China cooperation in public health.

Speaking to Xinhua recently, the Africa CDC chief underscored capacity-building support from China as a vivid manifestation of the positive outcomes of Sino-African cooperation in the health sector.

“We are so proud as Africans to have this kind of collaboration with China that will help us to push our agenda for global health security,” Kaseya told Xinhua.

Kaseya said Africa, which has long been suffering from various disease outbreaks, is in urgent need to improve its disease control system.

This photo taken on Nov. 10, 2023 shows a China-aided reference laboratory at the headquarters of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Photo by Michael Tewelde/Xinhua)

He said cooperation with China is enabling the Africa CDC, the African Union’s specialized healthcare agency, to play its leading role in coordinating disease prevention, surveillance and control on the continent, where on average two new outbreaks occur per week.

The China-aided state-of-the-art reference laboratory, which was inaugurated recently inside the premises of the Africa CDC headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, is the latest outcome of successful China-Africa cooperation in public health, he said.

“This is a game changer in terms of public health in Africa,” Kaseya said. “This laboratory will serve as a referral lab for Africa. We do not want to see African countries sending samples out of Africa again.”

Kaseya said strong commitments from the two sides would further strengthen the cooperation toward better health security in Africa.

Earlier this year, the Africa CDC inaugurated its China-aided headquarters in the southern suburb of Addis Ababa, equipping the African continent with a stronger public health agency to advance health initiatives and manage public health emergencies. 

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